This noxious, evergreen tree often reaches 20 m in height. Apart from producing copious numbers of seeds, it generates numerous suckers resulting in monotypic thickets. The small seeds are not actively dispersed and, although rodents or granivorous birds cannot be totally discounted, man appears to be the principal disseminator. The species resprouts by basal shoots following fire, thereby generally intensifying the infestation. No evaluation of its potential for biological control has been made.
It grows in disturbed, mesic habitats between 600-1,700 m. The major infestation is at Kula, Maui.