Naus is native to the Indo-Malayan region to Tahiti, including Vanuatu. It is a medium sized tree, 10 to 15 m in height, with a straight smooth grey trunk and four to eight small buttresses. The crown of the tree is rounded. In Vanuatu, there is greater variability between forms of this species than anywhere else, and villagers distinguish between different types of this species according to the size, colour and taste of its fruits. Naus loses its leaves during the dry season.
The elliptical shaped leaves are 4 to 14 cm in length and 2.5 to 5 cm in width and finely toothed towards the apex. They are a glossy dark green in colour, becoming yellow before falling.
The flowers are grouped in loose clusters and are 50 cm long with very small white petals. They are fairly inconspicuous.
The fruit is green, yellow, or orange when ripe. It is spherical or egg shaped with a length of 6 to 12 cm and a width of 4.5 to 9 cm. The fruit are found in bunches of 12 or more on a long stalk. The pulp is juicy and yellow or orange, often with fibres that are sometimes arranged in a loose and indistinct matrix. The fruit falls to the ground when green and hard before ripening. Villagers distinguish between several sorts of this species according to the colour and size of the fruit and its taste.
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