Aromatic shrub or small tree to 5 m tall. Branches have a characteristic zig-zag growth form and have pronounced swollen nodes. Leaves opposite, to 10 cm long, ovate, cordate; stipules fused to the stalks which are 1-4 cm long. Flower spikes unisexual; mostly late winter and early spring. Fruits succulent, yellow to orange.
New Zealand and nearby islands, NSW (Lord Howe Island)
var. majus (Cheeseman) Allan is sometimes cultivated: it has leaves more than 10 cm long with 9 veins (not 5-7 as in the typical variety).
Source: (1997). Piperaceae. 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.