Description from Flora of China
Herbs or subshrubs, 25-70 cm tall, much branched, arachnoid pubescent, glabrescent, with thick and woody rootstock and basal branches, branchlets ascending or erect, spine-tipped or not, densely leafy. Lower and middle stem leaves: petiole 0.5-1 cm; leaf blade suborbicular or ovate, 1.2-3.5(-4.5) × (0.8-)1.5-2.5 cm, 2- or 3-pinnatisect; segments 3-5 pairs; lobules minute, pectinately linear-lanceolate or linear, 4-6 × ca. 0.5 mm. Uppermost leaves and leaflike bracts 1- or 2-pinnatisect. Synflorescence a ± cylindric to conical panicle, to 30 × 8-12 cm; branches ascending to obliquely erect, 6-20 cm. Capitula secund, nodding; peduncles (1-)2-4 mm. Involucre hemispheric, 3-4(-5) mm in diam.; phyllaries densely arachnoid pubescent in middle, margin scarious, apex obtuse; receptacle densely pubescent, glabrescent. Florets 40-50, all yellow. Marginal female florets 10-15; corolla compressed, gland-dotted. Disk florets 35-50, bisexual; corolla limb purple, densely long puberulent or glabrescent. Achenes light brown, ellipsoid-ovoid or ovoid, ca. 1 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Oct. 2n = 18.
Rocky slopes, sandy beaches; 2900-4000 m. W Qinghai, Xizang [Afghanistan, N India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, N Pakistan, Tajikistan; SW Asia (Iran)].