Description from Flora of China
Scorzonera austriaca Willdenow var. subacaulis Regel, Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada 6: 323. 1880; S. austriaca var. intermedia Regel (1867), not Gaudin (1829).
Herbs, acaulescent or to 10 cm, perennial, rosulate. Rootstock dark brown, terete, ca. 8 mm in diam. Caudex woody, with fibrous and lacerate leaf sheath residues. Stems solitary or more rarely 2, unbranched, floccose arachnoid hairy especially apically. Rosette leaves linear, 8-10 × 0.2-0.4 cm, glabrous, apex acuminate. Stem leaves 1 or 2, scalelike, lanceolate. Capitulum solitary. Involucre broadly cylindric, 1-1.5 cm in diam. in fruit. Phyllaries glabrous or basally somewhat arachnoid hairy, apex acute; outermost phyllaries triangular to ovate. Florets yellow, ca. 1.5 × as long as involucre. Corolla ligule with dark red striae. Achene cylindric, 8-10 mm, with smooth ribs, glabrous. Pappus dirty white, ca. 1.2 cm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Jul.
The delimitation of Scorzonera subacaulis and subacaulescent forms of S. radiata (the latter without fibrous and lacerate leaf sheath residues and with the florets 2 × as long as the involucre) appears often somehow blurred in the literature (e.g., Lipschitz, Fl. URSS 29: 67-68. 1964). Regel (Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 40(3-4): 170. 1867) considered even an intermediate position of this taxon between both species. See also note under S. austriaca.
Grassy mountain slopes; above 2600 m. Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan].