Olearia lacunosa is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing up to 6–15 ft (1.5–4.6 m) high. The narrow leaves are 3–7 in (7.5–17.5 cm) long, dark green above and brown below. White starry flowers in summer. It is fairly hardy in the UK, but can be shy flowering.
Olearia lacunosa is found in lowland to subalpine forests, Tararua Range southwards in North Island and mainly to the west of South Island, New Zealand. It makes a specimen plant of great character, and succeeds best in a moist soil.