Description from Flora of China
Herbs, perennial, 15-25 cm tall, caespitose; rhizomes robust, without stolons. Stems ascending, simple, proximally villosulous, distally sparsely so, densely minutely stipitate glandular, more densely so distally. Leaves basal and cauline, thin, sparsely villous to glabrate, more densely villous on veins, minutely stipitate glandular, margin serrate to serrulate (teeth mucronate), villous-ciliate, 3-veined, veins abaxially prominent, apex rounded to acute, mucronate; basal leaves withered at anthesis, marcescent, broadly winged petiolate (petiole to 4 cm); blade oblanceolate, 1.5-4.5 × 0.5-2 cm, base attenuate; lower cauline leaves winged petiolate to sessile, oblanceolate to lanceolate, 1.5-4.4 × 0.5-1.5 cm, base cuneate or attenuate to rounded, clasping; upper leaves sessile, lanceolate, base rounded, clasping. Capitula terminal, solitary, 3.5-4.5 cm in diam. Involucres hemispheric, 1.3-1.4 × 1.8-2.5 cm, often overtopping disk; phyllaries 2-seriate, unequal, multiveined, margin ciliate, apex slightly spreading, both surfaces densely minutely stipitate glandular; outer phyllaries oblong-lanceolate to lanceolate, 13-16 × 3-5 mm, abaxially sparsely villosulous on veins, leaflike, apex acuminate, green or purple tinged, tip villosulous; inner phyllaries narrowly lanceolate, 9-15 × 1.2-1.5 mm, membranous, margin broadly scarious, glabrate. Ray florets ca. 80 or more, blue-purple, tube hairy, lamina 15-18 × 1-1.5 mm, eglandular; disk florets yellow, ca. 7 mm, tube and basal limb hairy, limb funnelform, ca. 4 mm, lobes erect to spreading, purple-black, triangular, ca. 1 mm, glabrous, tip sparsely minutely stipitate glandular. Achenes (immature) oblanceolate, compressed, ca. 2.5 mm, sericeous, densely minutely stipitate glandular, 2-ribbed. Pappus 4-seriate, reddish based, whitish above, bristles few, barbellate throughout; outermost series of slender bristles or scales 0.5-1 mm; outer bristles slender, 2-5 mm; inner bristles 5-5.5 mm, acute; innermost bristles 6-7 mm, weakly clavate. Fl. Aug.
Aster techinensis is closely related to A. himalaicus but differs in its stems, leaves, and phyllaries sparsely villosulous and its pappus reddish.
● About 3500 m. NW Yunnan (Dêqên).