Description from Flora of China
Plants 15–50 cm, perennial. Rhizome slender, woody, much-branched. Stems several, base without fibrous remnant sheaths. Basal leaves sessile; blade linear-lanceolate, 8–18 × 0.3–0.5 cm, abaxially tinged purple, 5-nerved, base rounded, clasping. Middle leaves ovate-lanceolate, apex long-acuminate or caudate, 8–11 × 0.5–1 cm, margin white scarious. Apical leaf short, narrow-ovate, apex caudate. Umbels 2–6 cm across; bracts 1 or 2, or absent, ovate-lanceolate, 4–35 × 2–9 mm, unequal, deciduous; rays 3–7, 1.5–5 cm; bracteoles 7–9, broadly ovate, 7–9 × 3–5 mm, exceeding flowers; umbellules 8–18 mm across, 16–30-flowered; pedicels 1–3 mm. Petals adaxially purple or yellowish-tinged, abaxially purple. Stylopodium low-conic, discoid, dark purple. Fruit oblong, reddish-brown, 2–2.5 × ca. 1.5 mm; ribs pale brown, prominent or narrowly winged; vittae 3 in each furrow, 4 on commissure. Fl. and fr. Aug–Oct.
At least var. commelynoideum has reputed medicinal value. See the taxonomic note under Bupleurum candollei.
Alpine meadows; 2700–4300 m. S Gansu, SE Qinghai, W Sichuan, Xizang, NW Yunnan.