Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Peraxilla tetrapetala. Red-flowering mistletoe. Pirirangi.
FAMILY: Loranthaceae Mistletoe family
BOTANICAL NAME: Peraxilla tetrapetala
PREVIOUS NAMES: Loranthus tetrapetalus ; Elytranthe tetrapetala ; Loranthus punctatus ((Colenso)); Loranthus decussatus; Loranthus fieldii
MĀORI NAME: PIRIRANGI, pikirangi, pikiraki (southern term; Tunuku Karetai in Beattie, MS 582/E/11, Hocken); pirinoa, rorerore (Taylor 1855, found on tawai, black beech; Best 1908); pirita (generic name for mistletoes, also supplejack)
The flowers, or when in flower: korukoru
COMMON NAME: mistletoe
DESCRIPTION: Grows as parasite on tawai (Nothofagus) trees round Waikaremoana (Best 1908)
[Although Williams 1971 gives korokoru as P. colensoi in flower, the description in Best could also refer to P. tetrapetala. Ed. ]

NOTES: ''Mr Field gives rorerore as the Native name of a red-flowering Loranthus in the Taupo district'' (Best 1908)
FOOD: Berries eaten (Tunuku Karetai in Beattie, MS 582/E/11, Hocken).
Children used berries of pikiraki as chewing-gum. Berries are sweet and go into a pulp that can be chewed for a long time.... Taste pleasant enough while it lasted (Beattie 1994)
TRADITIONS: ''Legend says that the pikiraki was the last plant remaining in the kit of Tane....... He looked at it tenderly and said 'I cannot let my last child lie on the ground', and that is why it is a parasitic plant perched high up on the big trees, a kind of mistletoe with red flowers'' (Beattie 1920)