Description from Flora of China
Herbs 70-120 cm tall, perennial. Stems erect, ribbed, branched above, unwinged, cobwebby to hirsute below, densely cobwebby above. Leaves discolorous, abaxially grayish white and densely felted, adaxially green and rough with sparse to dense 0.3-1 mm spinules. Lower cauline leaves sessile, elliptic, 50-60 × 18-24 cm, bipinnatipartite, semiamplexicaul; primary segments 10 or 11 pairs; secondary segments 1 or 2 pairs, triangular to triangular-lanceolate, basally with 1 triangular, spine-tipped tooth; terminal lobe narrowly lanceolate, with 1 or 2 marginal spines and a 4-12 mm apical spine. Middle and upper cauline leaves similar but gradually smaller upward, with ± equally forked primary segments; secondary segments lanceolate. Capitula racemose to racemose-paniculate, nodding. Involucre globose, 4-5 cm in diam., densely lanate. Phyllaries in ca. 7 rows, lacking wings and scarious appendage; outer phyllaries not much shorter than inner ones; outer and middle phyllaries 2.2-2.5 × 0.4-0.5 cm, apical portion triangular, lanceolate, or elliptic, apical portion subulate and with a 1-1.2 cm terminal spine; inner phyllaries linear-subulate, ca. 3.8 × 0.3 cm. Florets bisexual. Corolla reddish purple, ca. 2.2 cm, tube ca. 1.9 cm. Achene brown, ca. 5 mm. Pappus bristles brownish, ca. 2 cm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Aug.
● Meadows; 1800-3200 m. SW Sichuan, NW Yunnan.