The snow lotus (Saussurea laniceps) is a high altitude plant (over 12,000 feet above sea level) with brilliant white flowers appearing over dark green leaves which grow through the rocks of mountain peaks. The whole plant is harvested in July and August to yield the herb that is used as a tonic for weakness, a therapy for menstrual disorders, and a remedy for arthritis. It grows in Tibet, Sichuan, Sinkiang, and Qinghai. Although S. laniceps is the commonly designated plant, other species of Saussurea growing in the mountains are used interchangeably, including: Saussurea involucrata, S. medusa, S. gossypiphora, S. polylada, S. tridactyla, S. gnaphaloides, S. kingii, S. obvallata, S. tangutica, S. globosa, S. longifolia. In fact, Saussurea involucrata is most often used in Chinese medicine as a source of snow lotus because it can be found growing at somewhat lower altitudes, in snowy peaks throughout China, including the Huangshan Mountains of Anhui.