Description from Flora of China
Cnicus fargesii Franchet, J. Bot. (Morot) 11: 22. 1897.
Herbs to 1 m tall, perennial. Stems erect, sparingly branched above, ribbed, unwinged, sparsely cobwebby and with long multicellular hairs. Leaves smooth on both faces, abaxially green or grayish white and glabrous or sparsely cobwebby-felted, adaxially green and glabrous. Lower to middle cauline leaves petiolate; leaf blade broadly lanceolate to lanceolate, 20-30 × 7-8 cm, pinnatifid; segments ca. 6 pairs, elliptic to ± broadly triangular, teeth laterally shortly spiny and with an apical spine to 1 cm; terminal segment narrowly lanceolate, margin spiny. Middle and upper cauline leaves similar but sessile, semiamplexicaul. Capitula few, corymbose. Involucre broadly campanulate, ca. 4 cm in diam., ± cobwebby. Phyllaries in ca. 4 rows, lacking wings and scarious appendage, all of similar length; outer and middle phyllaries 2.1-2.4 × ca. 0.3 cm, pectinately fringed with ca. 2 mm spinules, basal portion linear to triangular, apical portion subulate, patent to slightly recurved, and tipped with a brown spine; inner phyllaries linear, ca. 2.1 × 0.2 cm, with an apical spine. Florets bisexual. Corolla purplish, ca. 2.2 cm, tube ca. 1 cm. Mature achene unknown. Pappus bristles to 2 cm. Fl. Jul.
● Slopes; 2400-2500 m. Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan.