Distribution: Occurring in the Olympics and Cascades mountains in Washington; Yukon Territory to California, east to Alberta, Montana, and Idaho.
Habitat: Meadows and open, often rocky slopes, where moist, at mid- to high elevations in the mountains.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Coarse, fibrous-rooted perennial, the several stout stems 5-12 dm. tall, lightly covered with woolly hairs when young.
Numerous, sharply-toothed, gradually reduced upward, the lower petiolate, the blade triangular-ovate to triangular-cordate, up to 15 cm. long and half as wide, the upper lanceolate, becoming sessile.
Inflorescence somewhat flat-topped, the heads rayless; involucre 10-14 mm. high, narrow, its bracts firm, pale with dark margins and tips, well imbricate, mostly acute, broad, the short outer ones ovate; flowers typically about 13, violet-purple or rarely white.
The unique flower color, the mountain habitat, and the triangular, sharp-toothed but spineless leaves should identify this member of the Thistle Tribe.