This species is widespread but scattered in Australia, and is mainly found in coastal districts. It has been recorded in south-eastern and central Queensland, in some parts of eastern New South Wales, in the ACT and in south-western Western Australia. It is also sparingly naturalised on Lord Howe Island. Also naturalised overseas in other parts of the Caribbean (e.g. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and in New Caledonia.
Typically prefers dry, elevated and infertile areas.
Upright succulent growing to 4 metres in height, will take on multi-stem form if cut
Creates saponins that are quite toxic to people, they are poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass straight through. They are also destroyed by prolonged heat, such as slow baking in an oven. Hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish indicating a hazard to aquatic life.