Description from Flora of China
Echinops cirsiifolius (K. Koch) Grossheim; E. maximus Sievers ex Pallas; E. rochelianus Grisebach var. cirsiifolius K. Koch.
Herbs 0.5-1.5 m tall, perennial. Stem solitary, branched, with dense long multicellular hairs and sparsely cobwebby. Leaves papery, abaxially grayish white, sparsely cobwebby to lanate, and with long multicellular hairs, adaxially green and densely strigose. Basal and lower cauline leaves petiolate; leaf blade broadly lanceolate, 15-24 × 5-10 cm, pinnatifid; segments 3-5 pairs, triangular to lanceolate, with spiny teeth and acuminate spiny apex. Upper cauline leaves sessile, gradually smaller upward. Pseudocephalia 1-3, 4-4.5 cm in diam. Phyllaries 14-18; outermost phyllaries narrowly oblanceolate, ca. 1 cm, ca. 1/2 as long as involucre, claw margin long ciliate, distal portion brown, broadly elliptic, abaxially densely strigose and gland-dotted, margin long ciliate, and apex spinulose acuminate; middle phyllaries oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, ca. 1.2 cm, abaxially densely strigose, margin long ciliate; inner phyllaries lanceolate, abaxially densely strigose, apex dentate. Corolla blue to white, tube outside not gland-dotted or sparsely gland-dotted. Achene ca. 7 mm, hairs yellowish. Pappus scales ca. 1.2 mm, connate almost entirely. Fl. and fr. Aug-Sep. 2n = 30, 32.
Forest margins, next to water, fields; ca. 2000 m. Xinjiang (Altay Shan, Tian Shan) [Kazakhstan, Russia; SW Asia, Europe].