Herbs (15-)30-100 cm tall. Rhizome thick, horizontal or ascending. Stems solitary or tufted, unbranched or apically few branched, ± glabrous. Leaves ± rigidly papery, green, concolorous, glabrous or abaxially sparsely cobwebby. Basal leaves withered at anthesis. Lower and middle cauline leaves petiolate but lower ones sometimes subsessile; petiole 0.5-8 cm; leaf blade 8-12 × 5-8 cm, undivided or divided almost to base into 3-5(-9) pinnately arranged segments; segments undivided or sometimes near base with few small spiny lobes, ± narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate or obovate, 3-9 × 2-6 cm, base cuneate, apex shortly acuminate to rounded. Upper cauline leaves similar but smaller. Outer bracts few, leaflike; inner bracts numerous, homomorphic, reduced to pectinately arranged pinnate spines, exceeding but not completely hiding involucre. Involucre campanulate, 1-1.5 cm in diam. Phyllaries numerous, imbricate, margin cobwebby, apex rounded to obtuse; outer phyllaries ovate, 3-6 × 1-3 mm; middle phyllaries gradually longer; innermost phyllaries elliptic to linear, 11-12 × 2-4 mm. Corolla white or yellowish, 0.9-1.2 cm. Achene obovoid, ca. 5 mm, hairs white. Pappus brown to dirty white, 7-9 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Oct.