Description from Flora of China
Alfredia suaveolens Ruprecht; Arctium niveum (Karelin & Kirilov) Kuntze; Carduus karelinii B. Fedtschenko; Cousinia trautvetteri Regel.
Herbs 35-60 cm tall. Stem purplish red, unbranched or with 1 branch, stout, many ribbed, sparsely cobwebby-felted. Leaves leathery, abaxially grayish white and densely thickly felted, adaxially green and ± glabrous, margin with teeth ending in straw-colored needle-shaped 5-10 mm spines. Basal and lower cauline leaves with winged petiole; leaf blade elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, 15-30 × 4-7 cm, pinnately lobed or subpinnatifid; segments 6-8 pairs, elliptic to semiorbicular, margin toothed, terminal segment triangular. Middle cauline leaves similar but sessile or with a short winged petiole; uppermost cauline leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, to 8 × 1 cm, margin with sparse spinulose teeth. Capitula 1 or 2, nodding. Involucre 5-6 cm in diam. Outer and middle phyllaries 2.5-3 cm, middle portion laterally expanded into scarious fimbriate-lacerate wings, apex narrowed into a ca. 1 cm spine; innermost phyllaries linear to linear-lanceolate, to 3 cm, rigid, scarious, margin entire, apex acuminate. Corolla yellow, ca. 2.2 cm, tube ca. 7 mm. Achene pale yellowish white variegated with brown, narrowly ellipsoid, ca. 6 mm, inconspicuously multistriate. Pappus bristles to 2 cm, fragile. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
Grasslands in river valleys, trailsides, Picea forests; 1400-2400 m. Xinjiang (Borohoro Shan, Tarbagatay Shan, Tian Shan) [Kazakhstan].