This tough, vigorous climber has alternate, leathery leaves and all but the youngest stems are covered with numerous small prickles. The leaves are almost oblong, to 15 cm long, with a small, hard point, which curves downward. A midvein and two other veins that reach the end of the leaf are distinctive; small veins between these main veins are clearly visible.
Halfway along the leaf stalk, there is a pair of tendrils. The greenish-white flowers hang in clusters in the forks of the leaves; the male and female flowers are on separate plants. The ripe fruit is a round, black berry, 1‒1.5 cm across, containing 1‒3 hard, shiny seeds.
Gippsland Lakes, VIC to QLD, NT, WA; also on Lord Howe Island