An evergreen species of variable habit in the wild, sometimes a small tree rarely more than 30 ft high and 3 ft in girth, sometimes a small shrub found growing on rocks or the branches of trees. Leaves leathery, thick, glossy as if varnished, rich green, oblong or broadly ovate, 4 to 7 in. long, 2 to 5 in. wide, glabrous on both sides, markedly unequal at the base; stalk 1 to 11⁄2 in. long. Flowers small, green, in axillary panicles almost as long as the leaves (3 to 6 in. long); female ones without petals. Fruits 1⁄3 in. long, purple.
Native of New Zealand at low altitudes, and only hardy in Cornwall and similar localities. At Kew it will not survive permanently even against a wall. The true species is grown at Tresco Abbey in the Isles of Scilly and no doubt in other gardens in the milder parts. But some plants under its name may be large-leaved forms of G. littoralis.
Being tender, G. lucida is not so useful a shrub as G. littoralis, although from the larger size of its leaves it is more striking. Propagated by grafting on G. littoralis.