They are shrubs or small trees growing 1–6 m (3–20 ft) tall. They have even-pinnate leaves with small leaflets, and solitary or clustered mostly yellow (rarely white or pink) flowers and bearing seeds in a linear pod.
The majority of species are shrubs from 0.5–5 metres (1.6–16.4 ft) tall, varying from ground-hugging prostrate plants to erect shrubs; a few, notably C. frigidus, are small trees up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall and 75 centimetres (30 in) trunk diameter. The prostrate species are mostly alpine plants growing at high altitude (e.g. C. integrifolius, which grows at 3,000–4,000 metres (9,800–13,100 ft) in the Himalayas), while the larger species occur in scrub and woodland gaps at lower altitudes.
Uinta County Conservation District P.O. Box 370 204 East Sage St. Lyman, WY 82937 307-787-3070