Shrub to 2 m or so tall with hairy new growth. Primary leaf division pairs about 4. Leaflets of 15-20 pairs, oblong, slightly sickle-shaped, 4-6 mm long. Flower heads to 6 cm wide, crimson, solitary in the leaf axils. Fruit pods hairy, oblong-lanceolate, 3-6 cm long, 4-6 mm wide, with massive margins.
C. haematocephala Hassk. from S America has stamens white at the base, deep red at the tip. C. portoricensis (Jacq.) Benth. from S Mexico to WIndies has white flowers. C. surinamensis Benth. from N South America has deep red flowers and leaflets in 7-12 pairs.
Source: (2002). Mimosaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.