Native to southern and eastern Africa, this plant can be found in the low-lying dry regions of La Réunion, particularly in areas like La Montagne and La Grande Chaloupe.
It can be described as a shrub with a light green and spiny foliage with clusters of small pinkish fruits, whose seeds are dispersed by gravity, then by run-off water (in gullies). Its fruits are also dispersed over long distances by birds.
This introduced plant species can be very invasive. It may become dominant or co-dominant in natural environments or those which are poorly disturbed. It then competes with the native flora preventing the development and regeneration of their seedlings.
It forms part of La Réunion list of invasive exotics species, which has been defined by the CNBM (Conservatoire National Botanique des Mascarins). This plant is not subject to a strict program but of specifically local actions of control and eradication that are part of the restoration work carried out by the LIFE+ Forêt Sèche project on the Massif de la Montagne.