Description from Flora of China
Cnicus sairamensis C. Winkler, Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada 9: 522. 1886; Cirsium semenowii Regel subsp. sairamense (C. Winkler) Petrak.
Herbs 20-60 cm tall, perennial. Stems erect, branched from base or middle, unwinged, sparsely cobwebby and with long multicellular hairs. Leaves discolorous, surface smooth, abaxially grayish green and sparsely cobwebby, adaxially green and with long multicellular hairs. Lower and middle cauline leaves sessile, elliptic or ± narrowly lanceolate, 13-20 × 4-6 cm, pinnately divided, semiamplexicaul; segments 4-7 pairs, elliptic to triangular-ovate, with 3-5 unequal, triangular teeth fringed with 2-3 mm spinules and with a 1-2 cm apical spine. Upper cauline leaves similar but gradually smaller upward. Capitula many, terminal, corymbose-paniculate, erect or nodding, surrounded by pectinately spiny bracts with long pungent spines. Involucre campanulate to ovoid, ca. 2.5 cm in diam., glabrous or sparsely cobwebby. Phyllaries imbricate, in 7 or 8 rows, lacking marginal spinules, wings, and scarious appendage; outer and middle phyllaries ca. 4 × 0.2-0.3 cm, basal portion triangular, apical portion subulate, rigid, patent to reflexed, and tipped with a ca. 3 cm spine; inner phyllaries lanceolate, elliptic, or linear, 10-20 × 1-2 mm, apex acuminate and scarious. Florets bisexual. Corolla purple, ca. 2.2 cm, tube ca. 9 mm. Achene brownish, ca. 5 mm. Pappus bristles dirty white, ca. 1.5 cm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep.
Mountain slopes, mountain valleys, by water, moist places; 1700-2300 m. Xinjiang (Tian Shan) [Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan].