New Jersey tea is a low, much-branched shrub, with a woody stem and herbaceous upper branches.
Flowers are aromatic, on branching clusters arising on long stalks from leaf axils, those from lower part of stems much longer than upper; in small, rounded panicles of tiny white flowers, reminiscent of tiny lilac clusters. Each petal looks like a tiny spoon. Blooms May–June.
Leaves are alternate, broadly ovate, sessile, finely toothed, on petioles.
Similar species: Redroot (C. herbaceus) is somewhat shorter, with dense, flat-topped inflorescences and leaves that are narrow and oblong to elliptical. It blooms April–June and is found in prairies, fields, and uplands in the western part of Missouri only.