|C. occidentalis is a rounded, 3-6 inches tall shrub, occasionally reaching 10-15 inches tall. It is very open, almost gangly in habit, the late emerging foliage leaves the shrub almost dead looking until late spring. Flowers are creamy-white, on spherical heads, 1 to 1 1/4 inches long, blooming in late summer. The fruit is a nutlet that persists through winter. Prefers moist situations, not dry tolerant, best used for naturalizing in wet areas. Native from New Brunswick to Florida, west to Minnesota, Oklahoma and southern New Mexico, Arizona, California, into Mexico and Cuba.