Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Mida salicifolia. Maire taiki. Willow-leaved maire.
FAMILY: Santalaceae Sandalwood family
BOTANICAL NAME: Mida salicifolia
PREVIOUS NAMES: Santalum cunninghamii
MĀORI NAME: maire taiki, tāiko (in Williams 1971); maire (Taylor 1870)
COMMON NAME: NZ sandalwood; willow-leaved maire
DOMESTIC: Supplied hardwood for war implements and carved walking sticks Root pounders, flax beaters, digging sticks. Cabinetmaking (Colenso 1869a)
Used for wooden spades, digging sticks - hoto, ko, kaheru, pere, tipi. Certain weapons such as wahaika made from roots. (Best 1908, 1925, 1927)
Heavy, durable. Favoured for use as a block when cutting greenstone (Best 1912).
Used for torches for lighting houses. Smokeless and longlasting. All species of maire used. Details in Best 1925.
PROVERBS: 'E! ko te matakahi maire! Lo! the iron-wood wedge!
Used of a warrior. Meaning: He separates the enemy before him, as the wedge of the hard Maire wood (Santalum cunninghamii) splits up a log.' (Colenso 1880: 140)