Description from Flora of China
Saussurea saligniformis Handel-Mazzetti; S. wilsoniana Handel-Mazzetti.
Herbs 0.6-1.4 m tall, perennial. Rhizome stout. Stems solitary or few, (2-)5-8 mm in diam., erect, apically much branched, apically flexuous. Basal leaves withered at flowering time. Lower and middle stem leaves petiolate; petiole 1.5-5 cm; leaf blade narrowly ovate to oblong, 8-19 × 2-6.5 cm, both surfaces green, abaxially with a few isolated articulate hairs, adaxially glabrous, base cordate to rounded, margin denticulate and sparsely ciliate, apex acuminate to caudate. Upper stem leaves gradually smaller upward on stem; petiole 0.5-1.5 cm; leaf blade narrowly elliptic, base cuneate to rounded. Capitula numerous, in a diffuse corymbiform-paniculiform synflorescence, pedunculate. Involucre campanulate, 6-8(-13) mm in diam. Phyllaries in 4-6 rows, straw-colored, sometimes apically tinged purple, glabrous or apically bearded, apex obtuse to subacute; outer phyllaries ovate, 1.5-3 × 1-2 mm; middle phyllaries narrowly ovate, 3-10 × 1.5-2 mm; inner phyllaries narrowly elliptic to linear, 10-14 × 1-1.5 mm. Receptacle bristles brownish, subulate, 4-8 mm. Corolla purple, 1-1.3 cm, tube 4.5-7 mm, limb 5-6.5 mm, lobes 3-3.5 mm. Achene blackish brown, cylindric, 3-5 mm, smooth, glabrous. Pappus pale brown; outer bristles 2-4 mm; inner bristles (0.8-)1-1.1 cm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Oct.
● Forests, forest margins, montane meadows, rocky slopes; 1400-3700 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, NW Yunnan (Lijiang, Zhongdian).