Description from Flora of China
Saussurea tsarongensis J. Anthony.
Herbs 4-40 cm tall, perennial, caespitose. Caudex simple or few branched. Stems solitary or 2-4, 3-6 mm in diam., erect, simple. Rosette and basal stem leaves petiolate; leaf blade narrowly elliptic to linear, 3-15 × 0.5-1.6 cm, abaxially pale green and densely sericeous-villous, adaxially dark green and pilose but glabrescent, margin undulate or sinuate-dentate, apex acuminate. Middle and upper stem leaves sessile, 2-7.5 × 0.3-1.2 cm, base semiamplexicaul. Uppermost stem leaves narrowly elliptic or triangular-ovate, 1-2.5 × 0.2-0.6 cm, membranous, half-enclosing synflorescence, both surfaces purple, margin entire or with a few teeth. Capitula 3-10(-15), in a congested corymbiform synflorescence 2.5-5 cm in diam., shortly pedunculate or sessile. Involucre cylindric, 0.7-1.5 cm in diam. Phyllaries in 3 or 4 rows, blackish purple, densely villous; outer phyllaries triangular-ovate, (5-)7.5-12 × 2-4.5 mm, apex acute; middle and inner phyllaries narrowly ovate, 8-11 × 0.9-2.8 mm, apex obtuse. Receptacle bristles 3-4 mm. Corolla dark brownish purple, 0.8-1.2 cm, tube 3.3-5 mm, limb 4.6-6 mm, lobes 2.4-3 mm. Achene straw-colored, cylindric to obconic, 3.3-4.8 mm, obtusely 5-ribbed. Pappus dirty white to pale brown; outer bristles 0.4-2.8 mm; inner bristles 8-10 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep.
● Alpine meadows, grasslands, mountain steppes; (2300-)3000-4800 m. Gansu, Qinghai, W Sichuan, SE Xizang (Zayü), NW Yunnan (Dêqên).