Description from Flora of China
Saussurea oligantha var. oligolepis (Y. Ling) X. Y. Wu; S. oligantha var. parvifolia Y. Ling; S. oligolepis Y. Ling.
Herbs 40-70 cm tall, perennial. Stem solitary, erect, simple or apically few branched, with sparse multicellular articulate hairs or glabrescent. Leaves green, sparsely strigose to subglabrous. Basal leaves withered at anthesis. Lower and middle stem leaves petiolate; petiole 9-15 cm, covered with brown articulate hairs or glabrous; leaf blade broadly ovate-cordate, 5-11 × 5-11 cm, base cordate to hastate, margin coarsely dentate, apex acuminate. Upper stem leaves sessile, narrowly ovate to narrowly elliptic, gradually smaller upward on stem, apex long acuminate. Capitula 2-8, in a lax paniculiform or corymbiform synflorescence or sometimes solitary, long pedunculate. Involucre obconic to campanulate, 1.2-1.5 cm in diam. Phyllaries in 4-6 rows, apical part green, herbaceous, and reflexed to erect, apex acuminate; outer phyllaries ovate, ca. 6 × 2 mm; middle phyllaries oblong to elliptic, 8-10 × 3-3.5 mm; inner phyllaries linear, ca. 10 × 2 mm. Corolla purple, 1.1-1.4 cm, tube 6-7 mm, limb 5-7 mm, lobes 3-3.5 mm. Achene oblong, 3-4 mm, glabrous. Pappus dirty white; outer bristles 3-4 mm, scabrid; inner bristles ca. 9 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
● Mountain slopes, forest margins, forests; 1300-3800 m. Chongqing, Gansu, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, SE Xizang, NW Yunnan.