Reaches 10 m or more in height. The pinnate leaves are 3 to 4 m long, on a stout, erect petiole approximately 20 cm long. The crownshaft is 50–60 cm long. The inflorescence is 30 50 cm long and has from 50 to 60 fairly stout branches. The fruits are green at first, turning a bright red when ripe.
On Norfolk Island it now occupies a small range in the centre of the island near the National Park, where the species is somewhat threatened by rats that eat the fruit and young seedlings. It is rare elsewhere on the island. It is regenerating and is abundant in some localities.