Robust perennial to 30cm high, forming clumps of open, slightly succulent rosettes. Leaves pinnatisect, oblong to' oblonglanceolate, 3-10cm long, glabrous-rugose to roughly downy. Flowering stems one per rosette, rufous glandular-downy, bearing one to seven bract-like leaves and a solitary hemispherical flowerhead up to 3cm long by 2.5-5cm wide. Bracts often reddish-purple tinged and florets usually clear blue but sometimes violet or white with rays 1-1.2cm long. Chile and Argentina, in northern Patagonia to the southern central cordilleras, in volcanic ash and sand, on open slopes, moist upper valley grassland and open forest at 1300-2000m. P. fonckii is similar but has two to three stems per rosette, each with no more than three bract-like leaves. Southern lake and volcano region at 1200-1800m. P. delicata is also similar, but of more fragile appearance with very slender flowering stems not above 15cm high and thin-textured spathulate, shallowly lobed to bidentate basal leaves. The flowerheads have fewer florets but with rays 1.3-1.5cm long. Argentina only in the more open moister habitats up to 2200m.