Plants 1 m or more tall. Stem stout, striate, often spiny at the ridges. Cauline leaves broadly lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, entire or sinuate, midrib spiny beneath. Capitula ovoid to cylindrical, 4-4.5 cm long. Involucral bracts unequal, linear, 1.6-6 cm long; receptacular ones shorter, pubescent with a recurved and hooked apex. Flowers pale lilac.