Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 


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Celmisia semicordata. Celmisia coriacea. Tikumu
FAMILY: Asteraceae Daisy family
BOTANICAL NAME: Celmisia semicordata and allied species
PREVIOUS NAMES: Celmisia coriacea. (Restricted to Fiordland, Western Southland. In many old records used as the name for C. semicordata. )
MĀORI NAME: TIKUMU, matua-tikumu
COMMON NAME: large mountain daisy; leather plant; New Zealand Aster; silvery cotton plant
NOTES: These uses can also refer to other species of large-leaved Celmisia, in particular C. spectabilis.

MEDICINAL: Found growing on the ranges of Otago. A good substitute for tobacco, and for relieving asthma (Neil 1889)
Leaves have fine, soft lint like tissue, often used for dressing wounds in early days (Fulton 1922).

Related pharmacological and chemistry notes (Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987).

FIBRE: Celmisia coriacea, 'from its abundance on the Lammerlaw Ranges, might be used in the manufacture of paper, having a large amount of fibrous material on the back of the leaves' (Buchanan 1869).

'Native Cloth, made from the Cotton Grass (Celmesia Corriaceae [sic.]) - Found in a cave in the Dunstan Ranges. Presented by Mr. Graham'. Specimens of the Cotton Plant and of the dressed fibre exhibited by W. H. Reynolds, Dunedin (Catalogue of New Zealand Exhibition 1865).

Big, white leaves used to make pōkeka (raincapes), poho-taupa (chest protectors) , taupa (leggings) or tahau-taupa (shin protectors). White, fluffy part knitted into flax whītau to make pokekea waterproof. Made into fine cloaks (kākahu-tikumu) (Beattie 1994)
Used to make taupa (leggings) (Tunuku Karetai to Beattie, MS 582/E/11, Hocken Library, Dunedin). Taupa were made of flax fibre, tussock or tikumu - the ones of tikumu leaves are siad to be the best (Beattie 1994).
ENVIRONMENT: C. semicordata occupies a wide range of sites throughout the South Island, but is most common along and west of the Main Divide of the Southern Alps, among tall tussock grasslands especially on wetter sites. It is also common in the ranges of Otago.

LINK WORDS: paper, weaving, clothing
RECORD NUMBER: 3293