Carpodetus serratus is an evergreen tree with small ovate or round, mottled leaves with a toothy margin, and young twigs grow zig-zag, and fragrant white flowers and later black chewy berries. It is an endemic of New Zealand. Its vernacular names used in New Zealand are putaputawētā, marbleleaf and bucket-of-water-tree. It is found in broadleaf forest in both North, South and Stewart Islands. It flowers between November and March, and fruits are ripe from January to February.
This tree prefers moist broadleaf forest, forest margins and along streams. The caterpillars of the puriri moth feed on the cambium thus creating characteristic diamond-shaped feeding scars. The entrance of the burrow is hidden by a web spun by the caterpillar. Trees may be weakened by a high density of caterpillars, particularly if the trunks are still thin.