Herbs, biennial or perennial, 20-40 cm tall. Taproot terete, prolonged, upper part 2-7 mm in diam. Stems 3-5, erect, simple, sparsely white aculeate. Basal leaves: petiole flat, 3-8 cm, aculeate or smooth, base sheathlike, densely covering stem base; leaf blade celadon on both surfaces, narrowly oblanceolate, pinnatipartite, 4-13 × 1-3 cm, both surfaces aculeate when young but smooth when old; proximal lobes deltoid, distal lobes broadly ovate, broadly obovate, or suborbicular, margin irregularly incised or crenate with teeth cartilaginous mucronate at apex. Cauline leaves 1-3, sessile or shortly petiolate, pinnatifid or bipinnately trifid, 2-5 × 0.5-3 cm, aculeate or smooth; lobes cartilaginous mucronate at apex. Flowers solitary, terminal. Bracts pinnatipartite. Pedicel terete, aculeate or smooth. Flower buds oval, 1.5-2 cm, membranous at margin, adaxially numerously lepidote-aculeate, apically argute. Petals golden, suborbicular or broadly ovate, 1.5-2.5 cm. Filaments filamentous, ca. 1 cm; anthers oblong, ca. 1 mm. Ovary terete, 1-1.2 cm, densely spiny lepidote; stigmas 2-lobed, sessile. Capsule linear-terete, 15-21 × 2-3 mm, sparsely spiny lepidote, dehiscing from base to apex in age; carpopodium 12-18 cm, thick, with many seeds. Seeds reniform, ca. 1 mm, seed coat black-brown, alveolate. Fl. and fr. May-Oct. 2n = 12.