Description from Flora of China
Herbs 30-70 cm tall. Stem solitary, grayish white, erect, apically branched, unwinged, densely lanate. Leaves leathery, discolorous, abaxially grayish white and densely felted, adaxially green and glabrous. Basal and lower cauline leaves with a spinose or unarmed petiole; leaf blade elliptic, 10-15 × 3-3.5 cm, pinnately lobed or pinnatipartite; segments numerous pairs, ovate-triangular, 3-5-toothed, each tooth with basal ca. 1.5 mm spines and a 3-3.5 mm apical spine. Middle and upper cauline leaves similar but shortly petiolate or sessile and smaller; uppermost cauline leaves smallest, elliptic to lanceolate, pectinately spiny. Capitula several, solitary at end of stem and branches. Involucre broadly campanulate, ca. 5 cm in diam., sparsely cobwebby. Outer phyllaries elliptic to lanceolate, 2-2.5 × 0.5-1 cm, middle portion of margin spinulose to spiny toothed, apex with a 2-5 mm spine; middle phyllaries lanceolate-subulate to elliptic-subulate, 2-3 × ca. 0.3 cm, apex acuminate-subulate; inner phyllaries linear-lanceolate, 2-3 × ca. 0.2 cm, apex acuminate. Corolla pale purple, ca. 2.6 cm, tube ca. 9 mm. Achene (immature) ca. 6 mm. Pappus bristles yellowish to dirty white, to 2.5 cm. Fl. Jul-Sep.
Rocky mountain slopes; ca. 2900 m. W Xinjiang (Wuqia) [Kazakhstan].