Evergreen shrub to 2 m or so tall. Leaves more or less elliptic, mostly 3-6 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, leathery, dull green with unusual red blotches above, waxy blue below. Leaf stalks 0.5-1 cm long. Flowers mostly in clusters of 2-5 with thin stalks; spring. Petals greenish, narrow, 4-5 mm long. Stamens mostly 6-10. Fruit deep red or black with 2-3 black angular seeds.
Grows naturally on the north and south islands of New Zealand from lowlands to high montane forest, often in thickets. Occasionally cultivated in cooler hill districts.
Leaves with red blotches; stamen filaments flattened.
Source: (1997). Winteraceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.