Monocarpic perennials, 50-220 cm; woody tap-rooted caudices with numerous coarse, fibrous lateral roots, sometimes forming new rosettes from root sprouts. Stems 1-several, erect, loosely arachnoid-tomentose, glandular-pilose; branches several to many, spreading. Leaves: blades oblanceolate to oblong or elliptic, 20-70 × 5-16 cm, strongly undulate, shallowly to deeply pinnatifid, lobes coarsely toothed or with triangular secondary lobes, main spines 3-15 mm, abaxial faces more densely tomentose, adaxial densely glandular with short, multicellular trichomes and ± tomentose with fine, arachnoid, non-septate trichomes; basal often present at flowering, petiolate; principal cauline well distributed, becoming sessile, gradually reduced distally, bases auriculate-decurrent with broad, spiny-margined wings 3 cm or less; distal cauline leaves progressively reduced, ± bractlike. Heads few-many, ± nodding, in paniculiform or corymbiform arrays, bracts leafy or much reduced. Peduncles 0-7 cm. Involucres (green to purple), hemispheric or campanulate, 1.5-3 × 2-5 cm, glabrous or puberulent. Phyllaries in 6-10 series, imbricate, ovate to lanceolate, abaxial faces without glutinous ridge; outer and mid bases appressed, short, bodies entire to erose or ciliolate (rarely outer spine-margined), apices spreading to recurved or reflexed, long, dilated, adaxially puberulent, spines 1-6 mm; apices of inner erect or reflexed, flattened or tipped with short spines. Corollas white to pinkish or lavender, 14.5-22 mm, tubes 5-8 mm, throats 4.5-9 mm, lobes 3-8 mm; style tips 2.5-4.5 mm. Cypselae brownish, 3.4-5 mm, apical collars tan; pappi 12-15 mm.