Maiapilo is a low shrub with stems growing 1 to 5 meters long. The fleshy, oval leaves are 2.4 to 6 centimeters long and 1.9 to 5 centimeters wide.
The flowers are characteristically pea shaped, making them about 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter and consist of a mass of long white stamens surrounded by 4 petals. The fragrant white flowers open after sunset and by morning, as the day warms up they fade to a pale pink as they grow older. Flowering mostly occurs during the Spring and Summer months. The ripe fruit of Maiapilo is an oval orange berry about 5 to 6 centimeters long that resembles a green cucumber before ripening. The small brown seeds are found in the smelly orange fruit pulp.
(Wagner, Warren L., Darrel R. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i.; Culliney,John L. and Koebele, Bruce P. 1999. A native Hawaiian garden: how to grow and care for island plants. )