Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Calystegia sepium. Pohue. New Zealand bindweed.
FAMILY: Convolvulaceae Morning-glory family
BOTANICAL NAME: Calystegia sepium
PREVIOUS NAMES: Convolvulus sepium (as in Colenso)
MĀORI NAME: PŌHUE, (pōhuehue, pōpōhue, pōhuhe, akapōhue), panahi, (panake, panahe [Taylor 1870]), pāraha (Taylor 1855), pohua (Potts 1879), pōwiwi (Taylor 1855), rauparaha, nahinahi.
Large edible roots: rarotawake (Williams 1971).
Chatham Islands: See also marautara.
COMMON NAME: greater bindweed; New Zealand bindweed; pink bindweed
MEDICINAL: Colenso notes that while the roots of this plant are eaten in New Zealand, in England and elsewhere the roots are highly purgative (Colenso 1881).
Roots boiled and eaten by nursing mothers (T. Kururangi 1941).

Other forms used in Far East for tonic properties. (Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987).
See also Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
FOOD: Used as a vegetable (Colenso 1881).
Leaves eaten in Tūhoe district (Best 1903, 1942).
It has a long, fleshy root, which was formerly eaten (Taylor 1855)
Thick, fleshy roots cooked and eaten (Kirk, in Taylor 1870 ; Taylor 1855 ; Colenso 1869a).
Root 'long and tough, and got after much trouble. It was quite good to eat' (Makereti 1938)
Roots dried, soaked before steaming. Described by Potts 1879 as 'floury as a potato with a slight bitter taste'
Root of pōhue a delicacy. Very plentiful. ('Crayon', in New Zealand Journal, April 1842, quoted in Best 1942).
TRADITIONS: A tradition on origin of pōhue recorded in Colenso 1882a ; Te Rangi Hiroa 1949.
PROVERBS: 'He nui pohue toro ra raro. The convolvulus (roots are) many and spread below (the soil): ... just as the secret thoughts of men's heart are hidden within.' (Colenso 1880: 130).