Noticeable from its dark red stems Māpou grows to 6m high on bush fringes. The fruits are relished by birds and chemicals in the leaves provide colour to their feathers. It is easy to confuse Māpou with its close brother Kohuhu, that looks the same but has brown stems rather than red.
- The use of Māpou is given away by its dark red stems that look like veins. A boiled down concoction of the leaves and stems is used as a blood thinner to treat high blood-pressure, and other cardiovascular issues.