Sticky glandular, erect perennial herb growing from a woody base. Stems numerous, 60–240 cm high, pale green, glandular-hairy. Basal leaves sessile, oblong-elliptic or lyrate, 35–73 cm long, tapering into a pseudo petiole: margins pinnately lobed; upper leaves sessile, lanceolate to broadly elliptic in outline, 5.5–17 cm, auriculate at the base; margin with more or less lobe-like teeth; all leaves with short glandular and more or less densely covered with felt-like hairs, especially beneath. Capitula numerous in terminal and upper axillary corymbose heads; stalks of the individual capitula densely glandular. Involucres 7–9 mm long, 3–3.5 mm in diameter; phyllaries 10–13, green with purplish tips or all purple, 7–8.5 mm long, shortly glandular-hairy. Disc florets purple or mauve, rarely blue or white, corolla 5–7.2 mm long, hairless; ray florets absent. Achenes 3.5–5 mm long when young, hairless; pappus 5–7 mm long.