Description from Flora of China
Saussurea epilobioides var. cana Handel-Mazzetti; S. karlongensis Handel-Mazzetti.
Herbs 25-60 cm tall, perennial. Stems solitary or few, erect, simple, subglabrous. Basal leaves withered at anthesis. Lower and middle stem leaves sessile, narrowly elliptic to linear, 7-12 × 0.9-2 cm, abaxially grayish green, usually gland-dotted, densely to sparsely tomentose or glabrescent, adaxially green and subglabrous, base auriculate and semiamplexicaul, margin denticulate, apex long acuminate. Upper stem leaves gradually smaller upward on stem, base cuneate. Capitula numerous, in a clustered corymbiform synflorescence, shortly pedunculate. Involucre narrowly campanulate, 6-8 mm in diam. Phyllaries in 4 or 5 rows, apically usually arachnoid; outer phyllaries ovate-triangular, 9-13 × 1.5-3 mm, apical part blackish green, saber-shaped, 5-9 mm, and reflexed, apex acuminate; middle phyllaries narrowly ovate-elliptic, 7-9 × 2-3 mm, apical part blackish purple and 1-4 mm; inner phyllaries linear, 8-10 × 1-1.5 mm, apex acute to subobtuse. Corolla purple, 8-10 mm, tube 4-5 mm, limb 4-5 mm, lobes 3-3.5 mm. Achene cylindric, 3-4 mm, glabrous. Pappus dirty white; outer bristles 1.5-3.5 mm, scabrid; inner bristles 7-8 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
● Mountain slopes, alpine meadows; 2600-4200 m. Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, W Sichuan.