Styphelia tameiameiae is occurs in a variety of forms ranging from low, spreading shrubs to small erect trees. In the tree form, it can grow up to 15 feet tall. The bark is brown to black and rough, especially on the larger stems. The bark on the slender twigs is brown and scaly. The leathery, narrow leaves are very small, about 1/10 of an inch wide and 3/8 of an inch long, and generally spaced close together on the twigs. The top surface of the leaves is dark green and the lower surface is light green to white with conspicuous veins. The white flowers are have the shape of a 5-pointed star and are about 1/8 inch in diameter. They occur as single flowers or in small clusters in the leaf axils. The flowers can be either perfect (having both male and female parts) or they can be unisexual. When the flowers are unisexual, the male and female flowers occur on separate plants. (Lamb 1981; Wagner 1990)
Styphelia tameiameiae is indigenous to the Marquesas and Hawaiian Islands. It occurs on all of the main Hawaiian islands except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe, but it may have grown on both of those islands in the past. It can be found growing at elevations ranging from 50 to over 10,000 feet. It grows in a variety of habitats ranging from open areas of low elevation forests to high elevation wet forests to alpine shrublands and bogs. It can even occasionally be found growing on windward coastal sites.