Annuals, 20-60 cm. Stems usually several-many from base, spreading, ± openly branched distally, loosely gray-tomentose. Leaves ± loosely gray-tomentose; basal and proximal cauline petiolate, blades oblong, 5-10 cm, margins entire or pinnatifid with terminal segment largest, apices obtuse; mid and distal cauline sessile, linear-lanceolate to oblong, blades usually not much smaller, entire, mucronate. Heads radiant, borne singly, pedunculate. Involucres ovoid to campanulate, 15-20 mm. Phyllaries: bodies green, ovate (outer) to oblong (inner), glabrous, margins and erect appendages silvery white to brown, scarious, fringed with slender teeth 1.5-2 mm. Florets 25-35; corollas of sterile florets spreading, dark blue, 25-30 mm, enlarged, those of fertile florets purple, ca. 15 mm. Cypselae brown, 4.5-6 mm, puberulent near attachment scar, otherwise glabrous; pappi of outer series of unequal stiff bristles 2-8 mm, inner series of slender scales ca. 1.5 mm. 2n = 16 (Armenia). Flowering spring-summer (May-Jul). Disturbed ground; 50-1400 m; introduced; Md., Nev.; sw, c Asia.