Māori Plant Use

   Skip Navigation Links
Copyright © 2021

Plant Use Details 

Lygodium articulatum. Mangemange.
FAMILY: Schizaeaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Lygodium articulatum
MĀORI NAME: MANGEMANGE, mākaka, makamaka, mounga, hiawe (a creeping fern; Williams 1971), tarikupenga (plaited net)
COMMON NAME: bushman's mattress
MEDICINAL: ''This plant is highly prized by the Maories, the fronds and seed are infused and taken to allay spasms in the stomach'' (Charles Jeffs, 1888, note on pressed specimen in King Tawhiao Collection, Te Papa).

See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
DOMESTIC: Bundles of mangemange tied round sack used for soaking fermenting corn to stop sack's deterioration. Especially if corn left in water for long periods (Yen 1959).
CONSTRUCTION: Among the northern tribes, this creeping fern was generally used to bind the outward thatch securely on the roof of their houses (Colenso 1869a).
Used for lashing in storehouse construction (Best 1916).
Used in building (Taylor 1855)
FISHING AND HUNTING: Stems also used in the north for fish traps. Tough, naturally curved stems, hardened by fire, used for fish hooks (Colenso 1869a).
Used as fishtraps. Mouth of basket narrowed so that fish once in could not escape (Nicholas 1817).
Mākaka, a wiry creeping plant or vine, used to make eelpots (White 1887)
Eel traps, hīnaki, made from kiekie and mangemange, carefully split down the middle.(Makereti 1938)
PASTIME: Possibly used for lashing on a tōrino (flute) (Best 1925)