This is the largest species of Pseudopanax, and comparatively fast growing, but short lived. Damaged by hard frosts below -8°C. Mature plants have umbels of purply-black berries rather like elderberry. It is more stemmy with a more open form than the related P. laetus. After pruning, re-sprouting is sparse and erratic, more particularly if in shade; basically it is not suited to being pruned.