Native from the region that covers South-East Asia to Australia, this species was introduced on La Réunion before 1825. It is present in dry or wet forests found at low altitudes, in degraded areas, in cropping cultures, on wastelands and lava flowing locations . The Zavocat Marron can be found at sea level up to 700 m altitude. It has been recorded in more than 35% of sugarcane fields on La Réunion. It is one of the most invasive alien species of the island.
It inhibits the development of native flora species and takes up their place in the natural environment. It has the faculty to rapidly colonize disturbed open environments as when clearings are created. The result is a major loss of the local flora biodiversity.
Its elimination is very hard because of the ability of this species to reject from its strain as well as from its gulls.
Fruit consumption by various bird species renders the control of its spread almost impossible. It is a plant species visible on the sites of the LIFE + Forêt Sèche project, that is on La Planèze of the Massif de La Montagne.