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A low evergreen sometimes prostrate shrub, the branches wiry, flexuous and often interlaced. Leaves linear, pointed, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, 1⁄16 in. wide, often recurved, inconspicuously bristle-toothed, quite glabrous, very shortly stalked. Flowers solitary in the leaf-axils towards the end of the shoot, each on a glabrous stalk 1⁄12 to 1⁄6 in. long; corolla white, urn-shaped, 1⁄8 in. long; calyx-lobes linear-lanceolate, minutely downy on the margins. The seed-vessel is usually enclosed in the enlarged succulent calyx, the whole forming a rosy-red, berry-like fruit 1⁄2 in. across.
Native of the North and South Islands, New Zealand, where it has a wide range of habitats, but is commonest at elevations of 1,500 to 3,000 ft; first discovered about 1847. It is a curious shrub of no great beauty, being remarkable for the often intricate interlacing of the slender branches and the small narrow leaves which are distinct from those of any other species in cultivation.
Natural hybrids occur in the wild between P. macrostigma and various species of Gaultheria. Some of these resemble P. macrostigma but are more erect, or have fruits in which the calyx remains dry and unenlarged.