Description from Flora of China
Herbs, perennial, 38-90 cm tall, sometimes caespitose; rhizomes long, thin. Stems erect, simple, sometimes branched upward, reddish striate, villous, sparsely minutely stipitate glandular. Leaves cauline, gradually reduced upward; blade abaxially pale green, adaxially green, abaxially sparsely strigose, eglandular, adaxially scabridulous, base rounded (lower leaves) or auriculate, clasping, margin remotely serrate to entire, strigose-ciliate, midvein prominent on both surfaces, apex acuminate, often falcate, mucronulate; lowest leaves withered by anthesis (unobserved); lower to upper leaves shortly petiolate (lower leaves) or sessile, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 3.5-13 × 0.3-1.8 cm; synflorescence leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 1.5-5 × 0.1-1 cm. Capitula 1-16 in terminal corymbiform synflorescences, sometimes solitary; peduncles 25-150 mm, sparsely villosulous, sparsely stipitate glandular, more densely so below capitula; bracts linear-lanceolate, entire, sometimes falcate, sometimes subtending involucre. Involucres broadly campanulate, 5-6 mm; phyllaries 3- or 4-seriate, unequal, green distally, abaxially glabrous, densely minutely stipitate glandular, base hardened, membranous, margin narrowly scarious, erose, ± purplish distally, glandular, midvein prominent, translucent, sometimes faintly multiveined, apex sometimes curved, acute, sometimes mucronulate, purplish; outer phyllaries oblong-lanceolate, 2.5-3 × 0.6-0.8 mm; middle phyllaries narrowly oblanceolate, 4-5 × 1-1.2 mm; inner phyllaries narrowly oblanceolate, 5-5.5 × 0.8-1.1 mm, scarious. Ray florets 19-26, light purple to purple, tube apex and lamina base sparsely hairy, sometimes sparsely minutely stipitate glandular, lamina 10-14 × 1.5-2 mm; disk florets yellow, sometimes becoming purplish, 4-4.5 mm, tube apex and limb base sparsely strigillose, sparsely minutely stipitate glandular, limb campanulate, 2.2-2.5 mm, lobes spreading, narrowly triangular, 1-1.2 mm, tip very sparsely strigillose, sparsely minutely stipitate glandular. Achenes dark purple, broadly obovoid, ± compressed to ± trigonous, 2.5-3 mm, sparsely strigillose, sparsely minutely stipitate glandular distally or eglandular, 2- or 3-ribbed. Pappus 4-seriate, dirty white, of few barbellate bristles; outermost series of narrow scales 0.2-0.4 mm; outer bristles slender, 0.8-1.5 mm; inner bristles ca. 2.5 mm, tapering; innermost bristles ca. 3 mm, clavate. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
● Grasslands on slopes, Quercus-Abies scrub on dry slopes, scrub, thicket margins, dry stream banks, canal sides, roadsides; 2400-3500 m. Gansu, S Shaanxi, NW and W Sichuan.