Perennial prickly herb, (20-) 30-75 cm tall, with long and tapering rootstock. Radical leaves 10-20 cm long, 2.5-4 cm broad, cordate, petiolate, deeply dissected with obtuse to acute lobes; upper leaves oblong to lanceolate; petiole 4-7.5 cm long, broad somewhat sheathing at the base; segments (pinnae or lobes) very variable in shape, 5-30 mm long, 3-10 mm broad. Flowers 5-7 cm across, in long racemes or pseudo-racemes, bracteate except the upper ones; bracts foliaceous, smaller than the cauline leaves. Buds globose, 13-20 mm in diameter; pedicel slender, 2-7.5 cm long. Sepals caducous 2-2.5 cm long, suborbicular-ovate, keeled. Petals dark purplish blue, broadly obovate, 2-3 cm long, 2.5-3 cm broad with parallel veins. Stamens indefinite, c. 7 mm long; anther 1.5-2 mm long, basifixed, oblong, yellow. Ovary ovoid, 7-8 mm long, hispid or less prickly than the previous species; style columnar, 5-7 mm long; stigmas 4, oblong, fused, capitate, pale green. Capsule obovate to oblong, tapering at both ends, prickly, 13-18 mm long (excl. style), c. 1 cm broad, 5-7 valved; seeds numerous, reniform to planoconvex, c. 1 mm long, brownish red.
Type: N.W. Himalaya: Kashmir or Kumaon, Royle (LIV).
Distribution: Endemic to Kashmir.