This tree belongs to the Aralia family and is native to New Zealand, where it is found in a variety of habitats up to about 800 m (2600 ft.). Young plants have a very curious look to them, producing a thin, solitary stem and long and narrow, downward pointing, strongly toothed leaves that look like a double-edged saw blade. Once a few meters tall, the stem begins to branch and the leaves take on a more normal, much shorter appearance. It is thought that this growth habit protected the plant against the now extinct moa, a giant flightless and herbivorous bird. P. ferox is similar to P. crassifolius but stays much smaller. Seeds need cold stratification for about a month.