Dodonea viscosa is an erect to spreading, vigorous, evergreen shrub, growing to 40–120 in (1–3 m) high and wide. The green leaves are oval to spear-shaped, 1.6–4 in (4–10 cm) long. The small flowers are greenish to yellowish, with male and female flowers on separate plants.
Dodonea viscosa is found in coastal and lowland areas of the North Island, New Zealand. In the South Island it is found southwards to the Banks Peninsula on the east coast, and to Greymouth on the west coast. It is fairly hardy in the UK.