DistributionIndigenous to Hawai`i, Micronesia, and the South Pacific from the New Hebrides and New Caledonia east to the Tuamotus. In the Hawaiian Islands, indigenous to Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.
Shrubs or small trees 3-6(-15) m tall, the trunk 10-15 cm in diameter, bark gray.
Leaves glossy on upper surface, lower surface less so or dull, somewhat thickened and coriaceous, narrowly to broadly elliptic, elliptic ovate, or lanceolate to ovate, 2.8-9 cm long, 0.9-4.1 cm wide, glabrous, apex obtuse to rounded, sometimes emarginate, base cuneate, petioles 0-1 cm long, stipules 2-5 mm long, apex abruptly acuminate to caudate, valvate in bud.
Flowers fragrant, perfect or functionally pistillate, protandrous, numerous in corymbose cymes 2.5-3.5 cm long, pedicels 1-3 mm long; calyx ca. 2 mm long, minutely dentate; corolla white, 4-6 lobed, 4-7 mm long, the lobes 3-4.5 mm long; nectary disk cushion shaped with a dense fringe of retrorse hairs; stamens exserted; filaments ca. 1.5-2.5 mm long; anthers ca. 1.5-2.5 mm long; style 5.5-7.5 mm long; stigma 2 lobed.
Fruit black, juicy, obovoid, somewhat compressed, grooved on each side, emarginate, 8-10 mm long, with bony endocarp, one seed per locule.
Seeds oblong-cylindrical, 6-6.5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm in diam., slightly curved.