Description from Flora of China
Saussurea eriolepis Bunge ex Candolle.
Herbs 30-120 cm tall, perennial. Stem solitary, erect, apically branched, sparsely arachnoid or glabrescent. Basal leaves usually withered at anthesis. Lower and middle stem leaves petiolate; petiole 3-8 cm; leaf blade narrowly triangular-ovate, 9-12 × 4-6.5 cm, abaxially white and densely arachnoid lanate, adaxially green and glabrous, base cordate, hastate, or truncate, margin dentate, apex acuminate. Upper stem leaves petiolate to subsessile; leaf blade triangular-ovate to narrowly ovate-elliptic, gradually smaller upward on stem. Uppermost leaves linear, subtending synflorescence. Capitula in a corymbiform synflorescence, pedunculate. Involucre campanulate, (0.6-)1-1.2 cm in diam. Phyllaries in 6 or 7 rows, white lanate; outer phyllaries ovate, ca. 4 × 2 mm, apex acuminate and with a dark purple mucro; middle phyllaries elliptic to ovate-elliptic, ca. 7 × 3 mm, apex acute to subobtuse; inner phyllaries linear, ca. 10 × 1.5 mm, apex acute. Corolla purple, 1-1.2(-1.4) cm, tube 5-6 mm, limb 5-6 mm. Achene brown, cylindric, ca. 5 mm, glabrous. Pappus white; outer bristles ca. 4 mm, scabrid; inner bristles 9-10 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep. 2n = 26*.
Saussurea komaroviana Lipschitz was described from the Korean side of the Yalu Jiang, opposite the Chinese province of Liaoning. According to W. Wang and C. Y. Li (Fl. Pl. Herb. Chin. Bor.-Orient. 9: 339. 2004), there are no known records from China, so the species is not being treated here. The species is very close to S. nivea, from which it differs by the smaller capitula and the less dense indumentum on the abaxial leaf surface (which therefore looks grayish green, not white) and on the phyllaries. Saussurea komaroviana occurs in shady and moist cliffs and rock fissures in mountains of the Korean peninsula.
Saussurea splendida Komarov, known from the Russian part of the Heilongjiang region, has apparently not yet been found in China. It also belongs to the group of Saussurea with cordate leaves and white, densely tomentose abaxial leaf surface. It is a large, ca. 1 m tall plant and differs from S. nivea by the very large, broadly ovate lower stem leaves (14-16 × 8-11 cm with up to 15 cm petiole) and the very diffuse, much-branched paniculiform-corymbiform synflorescence with 2-6 clustered, subsessile capitula at branch ends. Saussurea splendida may eventually be found in Heilongjiang or Jilin.
Forests, forest margins, thickets; 400-2200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shanxi [Korea].