Herbs, perennial, 20-60 cm tall. Rhizomes procumbent or obliquely ascending, with many fibrous roots. Stems erect, ± dichotomously branched, slightly scabrid, densely white adpressed hirsute. Basal leaves persistent by anthesis, rosulate, spatulate or oblanceolate, 5-18 × 2-4 cm, abaxially densely hirsute and glandular, adaxially sparsely hirsute, base gradually attenuate into short, broad petiole, margin crenate-serrate, apex rounded or shortly acute; cauline leaves few and small, oblanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, progressively smaller toward apex. Synflorescence densely aggregated in compound heads, surrounded by leaflike bracts; bracts broadly ovate or oblong-ovate, 1-1.5 × 0.5-1 cm, hirsute and glandular, with conspicuously raised veins, apex acuminate. Capitula many. Involucre narrow, 8-10 × ca. 2 mm; phyllaries green or apically purple-red, oblong-lanceolate, hirtellous and glandular, 1- or 3-veined, apex acuminate and spinescent, outer 4-5 mm, inner ca. 10 mm. Florets 4, herbaceous, purplish or pink; corolla 7-9 mm, tube 4-5 mm. Achenes oblong-linear, ca. 4 mm, angled, puberulent. Pappus sordid white, of 5(or 6) basally widened bristles, 4-5 mm. Fl. Jul-Nov. 2n = 22*.
Basal leaves mostly 7–62 x 1.5–10 cm., narrowly oblanceolate or ovate-elliptic, subacute or rounded at the apex, narrowly cuneate to long-attenuate below with the midrib becoming very narrowly winged or petiole-like, the base ± stem-clasping or shortly stem-sheathing, margins entire or sometimes serrulate-crenulate, lamina somewhat scabridulous to glabrescent with scattered patent 1–2 mm. long bristle-like hairs; cauline leaves 1–5, smaller than the basal leaves, sessile and ± stem-clasping, grading into ± conduplicate synflorescence bracts.
Stems 1-several, branching above, leafy below, densely hirsute, or ± strigose on upper stem and branches.
Capitula sessile, crowded in glomerules 1.2–3 cm. in diam.; glomerules terminal on few-many stiff synflorescence branches 3–11 cm. long, or sometimes several glomerules ± scorpioidly arranged along a branch, glomerule-subtending bracts 3–5, ovate, leaf-like, ± equalling the glomerules in length.
An erect tough hirsute perennial herb to c. 130 cm. tall, with scapiform annual stems from a woody rootstock; roots numerous, thong-like.
Phyllaries usually 2-seriate with c. 4 phyllaries in each series, oblong-lanceolate, cartilaginous with pungent apices and membranous margins, strigose or ± densely hispid where exposed, or glabrous; the inner phyllaries 7–9 mm. long, nearly twice as long as the outer.
Involucres 7–10 x 2–3 mm., narrowly ovoid-cylindric.
Achenes 3–4 mm. long, narrowly turbinate-cylindric, c. 10-ribbed, setulose mainly on the ribs; pappus of 7–10 elements 3.5–6 mm. long, overlapping scale-like below and gradually tapering into a subterete barbellate seta.
Corollas mauve, 4.5–7 mm. long, narrowly funnel-shaped, 5-lobed but more deeply cleft down one side, glandular at the lobe apices otherwise glabrous.
Basal leaves oblanceolate or elliptic, 6–60 cm long, 1.5–10 cm wide, attenuate into a petioloid base, this often reddish, the very base shortly clasping the stem, minutely denticulate or crenulate-serrulate, apex acute to obtuse; stem leaves few, sessile, lanceolate to panduriform, clasping the stem, 3–17 cm long, 0.7–5 cm wide, grading into the conduplicate inflorescence bracts; all leaves thinly to densely pilose above and beneath, often feeling scabridulous.
Capitula crowded in glomerules 1–3 cm in diameter; glomerules in terminal lax corymbiform bracteate cymes; stalks of glomerules 3–11 cm long; outer bracts of glomerules 3–5, pale green with white hairs, ovate-lanceolate to broadly ovate, 0.6–2.6 cm long, acuminate; phyllaries lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, acuminate, 6.3–10 mm long.
Perennial herb, subscapose, with long fibrous roots, woody rootstock and rosette of leaves; stems 1–several, arising from the basal rosette, pilose with patent or ascending hairs, 0.2–1.5 m tall.
Corolla subligulate with deep adaxial sinus and 4 shorter abaxial sinuses between the lobes, mauve, pale mauve to white, 3.8–7 mm long, lobes 1.3–2.5 mm long, glandular.