Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

 
Weinmannia silvicola. Tōwai.
FAMILY: Cunoniaceae Cunonia family
BOTANICAL NAME: Weinmannia silvicola
MĀORI NAME: TŌWAI, tawhero
MEDICINAL: Infuse bark in boiling water - skin diseases (O'Carroll 1884).
Scrape off the rough outside bark. Hammer it and put it into a billy with some water. Boil for about half an hour. Take out the bark and stain the liquid through a clean cloth. used for cuts on head or legs. Bathe the cut with a liquid. Bandage - raupō may be used. (P. Smith 1940)
Bark from side of tree facing sun was taken, outer bark cut away. Clean inner bark broken up, placed in water and boiled. Decoction, sometimes mixed with olive oil, applied warm to burns. Treatment said not to leave a scar (Adams 1945).
See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
DYES: Used extensively in tanning. Exported (Colenso 1869a ; Kirk, in Taylor 1870, 1889 ; Cheeseman 1906; Reed and Bretts 1874).
Bark contains large amounts of tannins (Smith 1870; Aston 1923a, Aston 1919a)
Bark sometimes used for dyeing fibre (Best 1908).
CONSTRUCTION: Used like mahogany (Colenso 1869a). (N.B. Details on post-European timber uses generally not recorded in this database)
RECORD NUMBER: 1129