Berkheya purpurea, the purple berkheya or in Afrikaans the bloudisseldoring (blue thistle thorn), is a tufted perennial with a winged stem that reaches 80 cm in height. The basal leaf rosette in the photo without a stem yet, has larger leaves than will grow up the stem to follow.
The plant produces several large flowerheads concurrently at bloom-time, the ray florets in various shades of mauve to almost white, the disc dark in colour. Flowerheads reach a diameter of up to 8 cm. The flowers may be stalked or not, the involucral bracts leaf-like. Flowering occurs from midsummer to midautumn.
The distribution of this Berkheya species is limited to the Drakensberg, where it grows upon grassy slopes (Manning, 2009; www.plantzafrica.com).