Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Schefflera digitata. Patē. Seven-finger. Main reference.
FAMILY: Araliaceae Ivy or Aralia family
BOTANICAL NAME: Schefflera digitata
MĀORI NAME: PATĒ, patatē (Best), patete, kōtētē (all in Williams 1971); kohi (Beever 1991)
COMMON NAME: Seven-finger
MEDICINAL: Sap used on scrofulous sores and ringworm (Kerry-Nicholls 1886 ; Taylor 1870).

The leaves contain falcarindiol, which shows specific activity against skin fungi such as ringworm (Muir, Cole, Walker, 1982). Related pharmacology in Brooker, Cambie and Cooper (1987).

See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
DYES: Dark juice of berries used as ink (Taylor 1870, Colenso 1869a)
DOMESTIC: Wood used to obtain fire by friction. Used as base wood (Colenso 1869a ; McNeill 1990).
Among museum artefacts he tested, Wallace 1989 found an adze socket and a teka made of patē.
TRADITIONS: Tradition of Maui searching for trees to put fire into (White 1887; Vol II)