Description from Flora of China
Calcitrapa iberica (Treviranus ex Sprengel) Schur.
Herbs 20-100 cm tall, annual or biennial. Stem erect, divaricately branched; stem and branches sparsely setiferous; branches exceeding main axis. Leaves sparsely strigose and gland-dotted. Basal leaves petiolate; leaf blade lyrately pinnatipartite or lyrately pinnatisect. Middle stem leaves sessile, pinnatipartite or pinnatisect; lateral lobes or segments ca. 4 pairs, narrowly elliptic, oblanceolate, or linear-oblanceolate, margin inconspicuously denticulate, apex rounded, obtuse, acute, or mucronulate. Upper leaves decreasing in size upward, narrowly elliptic, lanceolate, oblanceolate, or elliptic-oblanceolate, margin denticulate or entire. Capitula in a corymbose-paniculate synflorescence. Involucre ovoid, 1-1.8 cm in diam. excluding spines. Phyllaries in 4-6 rows; outer and middle phyllaries ovate, broadly ovate, or ovate-elliptic, 5-7 × 4-8 mm, with scarious margin and an apical spine; spine of outer and middle phyllaries straw-colored, (0.3-)1-2.5 cm, patent, sulcate, with 1 or 2 pairs of small accessory spines at base, apex pungent; inner phyllaries narrowly to broadly linear, 10-15 × 3-6 mm; appendage of inner phyllaries white or pale brown, scarious, margin entire or irregularly and coarsely dentate. Sterile florets not exceeding bisexual ones. Corolla pink to purple. Achene grayish brown, ellipsoid, 3-4 mm, sparsely pubescent, apex subentire with an inconspicuous rim. Outer pappus elements in few rows, white, bristlelike, to 2 mm, scabrid; inner pappus elements scalelike, ca. 0.5 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep. 2n = 20.
Mountain slopes; 500-900 m. NW Xinjiang [Afghanistan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; SW Asia, Europe].