Herbs, monocarpic, to 1 m tall in flower, throughout with long barbellate hairs, underlain with often dense, long, rufous or golden, barbellate hairs. Stem erect, to 2 cm in diam. near base, simple, longitudinally striate, pilose when young but nearly glabrous when old, base with persistent leaf bases densely shortly branched villous. Basal leaves in a deciduous rosette, among often mixed scalelike leaves; blade oblanceolate, obovate, elliptic, or nearly spatulate, 8-37 (including petiole) × 1-5 cm, both surfaces pilose, usually with 3(-5) or more longitudinal veins, base attenuate, not decurrent into petiole, margin entire and densely pilose, apex rounded or acute. Lower cauline leaves similar to basal leaves but gradually smaller; upper ones almost sessile, narrowly elliptic, lanceolate, oblanceolate, or linear-lanceolate, smaller than lower ones; uppermost leaves bractlike, forming a whorl beneath flowers, narrowly lanceolate or narrowly oblanceolate to linear, 5-11 × 0.5-1 cm. Flowers usually 3-5, rarely to 10-flowered, to 20 cm in diam., erect to suberect at maturity, arising from axils of uppermost leaves, occasionally with a few smaller flowers alternatively from stem below whorl of leaves. Pedicel (3-)6-37(-52 in fruit) cm. Flower buds broadly ovoid, spreading hairy. Sepals cymbiform, ca. 3 cm, abaxially pilose, glabrous within, with many distinct longitudinal veins. Petals 6-8, mid- to deep yellow, suborbicular to obovate, 4-9.5 × 3-5 cm, often markedly incurved. Filaments of same color as petals, golden brown at maturity, filiform; anthers yellow or yellowish brown, ovoid to oblong, 1-2(-4) mm. Ovary broadly elliptic-oblong or ovoid to narrowly ellipsoidal, densely appressed golden hirsute; styles obsolete or very short to 4 mm, glabrous; stigmas capitate, 4-7-lobed, decurrent and slightly actinomorphic at apex of ovary. Capsule broadly elliptic or oblong to elliptic, 2-3 × 1-1.2 cm, ascending to appressed golden or brown hirsute, 4-7-valvate for 1/3 distance from apex. Fl. May-Aug.
Grassy and rocky slopes, forest understories, open shrublands, mountain moorlands, stabilized moraines; 2700-5100 m. SW Gansu, E and S Qinghai, W Sichuan, E and S Xizang, NE and NW Yunnan [NE Myanmar].