Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Dicksonia squarrosa. Tree fern. Whekī.
FAMILY: Dicksoniaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Dicksonia squarrosa
MĀORI NAME: WHEKI, atewhekī, tūākura (Taylor 1855), tūōkura (Tuhoe term, Best 1908), pēhiakura, uruuruwhenua, tio, tirawa (all in Williams 1971, Best 1916 says tirawa a Ngāti-Pūkeko term), pakue (Beever 1991)
Pit for root crops, lined with slabs of stems of tree fern: rua tirawa
A shed with walls of tree fern slabs: whare tirawa
COMMON NAME: tree fern; wheki
FOOD: ''The iho (heart) of the katote [Cyathea smithii] is good to eat, but that of the others [poka and wheki] is bitter. ''(Beattie 1920)
CONSTRUCTION: Trunks used for lining storage sheds, pits. Fronds used to cover pit floors (Best 1916).
Much used in construction of rough huts - whare tirawa. Often used for cooking sheds (Best 1908)