Description from Flora of China
Herbs 45-50 cm tall, perennial. Stems branched from base, ribbed, unwinged, densely cobwebby and with sparse long multicellular hairs. Leaves discolorous, surface smooth, abaxially grayish white and densely felted, adaxially green and with sparse long hairs. Lower cauline leaves with spiny winged petiole; leaf blade elliptic-lanceolate to lanceolate, 22-27 × ca. 7 cm, pinnatipartite; segments 4-8 pairs, triangular-ovate to elliptic, fringed with 0.5-2 mm spinules and with 3-5 teeth tipped with a 5-11 mm spine. Middle and upper cauline leaves sessile, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, gradually smaller upward, auriculate semiamplexicaul. Capitula several to many, terminal, corymbose to corymbose-paniculate, erect or nodding, surrounded by pectinately spiny bracts with long pungent spines. Involucre subovoid to campanulate, ca. 2 cm in diam., glabrous. Phyllaries imbricate, in 7 or 8 rows, lacking marginal spinules, wings, and scarious appendage; outer and middle phyllaries 8-16 × 2-3 mm, basal portion triangular, ovate, or lanceolate, apical portion subulate, patent to reflexed, and tipped with a 4-8 mm spine; inner and innermost phyllaries lanceolate to linear, 12-20 × 1-2 mm, apex acuminate and scarious. Florets bisexual. Corolla yellow or white, ca. 1.9 cm, tube ca. 8 mm. Achene brown with darker striae, ca. 4 mm. Pappus bristles white, ca. 1.5 cm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
Forest margins in mountain valleys, mountain slopes, flooded lands, by streams; 1000-2400 m. Xinjiang (Tian Shan) [Kazakhstan].