An evergreen shrub of variable habit, sometimes found 15 ft or more high in the wild but more commonly low and spreading, 3 to 6 ft high; bark black. Leaves stiff and leathery, narrow-linear or linear-lanceolate, up to 3⁄4 in. long and 1⁄12 in. wide, terminated by a sharp, rigid point, margins recurved, undersides glaucous. Flowers inconspicuous, borne singly in the leaf-axils. Fruit globose, about 1⁄4 in. wide, usually some shade of pink or red, sometimes white.
Native of Australia (including Tasmania) and of New Zealand, better known in cultivation as C. acerosa, under which name it was once grown in greenhouses as a fruiting shrub. It is tender, but survives outside in the milder parts.
C. robusta Hook. f. – A native of Chatham Island, closely related to the preceding but distinguished by its blunt leaves. The fruits are somewhat larger and said to be more freely borne than in the other species.