Native to South America but widely escaped from cultivation in various places, including North America, Europe, and Japan.In the Hawaiian Islands,
Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Maui, Hawai`i.
Stems terete, 2-3 mm in diameter.
Lower leaves in whorls of 3, ovate or narrowly ovate, 3-7 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, middle and upper leaves in whorls of 4-5, oblong to linear, 12-40 mm long, 1.7-5 mm wide, margins serrulate.
Staminate flowers borne in spathes in the upper leaf axils, 11-12 mm long, on a long thread-like hypanthium 30-60 mm long, sepals 3-4 mm long, petals 9.5-11 mm long; pistillate flowers not seen.