H.australis is a moderately vigorous climbing species. The leaves are thick, succulent and almost round in shape, growing up to 9cm across.
The stems contain a white, milky sap which is poisonous. Flowers occur in clusters of up to 40, each on a long pedicel (stalk) and about 20 mm in diameter. They are fragrant, white in color with deep red markings in the centre.
The species is popular in cultivation in tropical and subtropical areas and is successful in temperate areas if protected from frost (the species will tolerate light frosts). H.australis is also suited to growing in containers and hanging baskets. Grow it in a well-lit area, either indoors or outdoors, with a bit of dappled overhead shade to protect it from the blazing sun. It needs well-drained, though not necessarily especially fertile soil to grow in. Flowering is best if good light is available but the plant will grow in reasonably heavy shade.
Propagate the plant from cuttings taken at any time, using a good propagating mix, can be grown from fresh seed.