Description from Flora of China
Subshrubs, 80-120(-180) cm tall, much branched; branches 15-35 cm or more, usually flexuous, pubescent or glabrescent. Leaves shortly petiolate to almost sessile, abaxially grayish green arachnoid hairy to subglabrous, adaxially green and white dotted with or without sparse T-shaped hairs. Lowermost leaves ovate or oblong, 5-partite. Middle stem leaves ovate, 5-12 × 3-7(-9) cm, 5-partite; lobes elliptic, oblong-lanceolate, or lanceolate, 30-80 × 5-12 mm, base attenuate. Uppermost leaves ternate, 3-partite; leaflike bracts entire, elliptic-lanceolate or lanceolate. Synflorescence a narrow to broad panicle, 15-30 × 10-20 cm; primary branches ascending to ± patent (upper), to 25 × 2-3 cm. Capitula many, almost sessile. Involucre broadly ovoid or globose, 1.5-2 mm in diam.; outer phyllaries sparsely arachnoid hairy, green, apex acute. Florets 8-20, purplish. Marginal florets 6-8; corolla basally broadened, 2-toothed. Disk florets 2-12, male; corolla tube glandular, apex very sparsely hairy. Achenes brown, oblong or obovoid, 1.25-1.5 mm. Fl. and fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 34, 54.
Slopes, steppes, riverbanks, roadsides, valleys, canyons, forest margins; low elevations to 3500 m. C and S Gansu, NW Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, S Henan, W Hubei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, W Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, E Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Japan, Nepal, Thailand].