Worldwide distribution. In American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu.
Invasive, aggressive shrub, of logged native forests (preventing regeneration), waterways, roadsides and cultivated lands, e.g., plantations, pastures, fallows, subsistence gardens. High seed production, ability to regenerate vegetatively and grow rapidly under varying rainfall (rainforest to savanna).
Shrub up to 8m. Stems swollen at nodes, with stilt roots. Leaves alternate, oval, up to 22cm, short leaf stalks, soft hairs underneath, aromatic when crushed. Flowers on curved spike opposite each leaf, on long stalks. Seeds small, up to 1.25mm, black.
Spread: birds, bats, wind, on clothing, machinery, vehicles, packing materials, as ornamental.; in kava consignments.