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An evergreen shrub 2 to 5 ft high, of neat habit, with the slender young shoots glabrous (or downy only when quite young). Leaves leathery, clustered at the end of the twig only, oval-lanceolate or narrowly obovate, pointed, tapered at the base to a very short stalk, 11⁄2 to 31⁄4 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in., wide, entire, quite glabrous. Flowers mostly unisexual, dull red, produced in February and March two to five together at the end of the young twigs; each flower is 1⁄3 in. wide, the males borne on very slender, thread-like, downy stalks 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, the females on shorter, stouter ones. Sepals and petals awl-shaped, the former much the shorter; anthers yellow. Seed-vessels egg-shaped, 1⁄2 in. wide. Bot. Mag., t. 3161.
Native of the North Island of New Zealand up to 2,000 ft altitude; introduced by Allan Cunningham early in the 19th century. It is often found wild growing as an epiphyte on large forest trees or on rocks, rarely in pure earth. It is not hardy at Kew but can be grown in the open air in the south-west. In spite of its epiphytal character it succeeds well in ordinary soil. The flowers have a charming musk-like odour.