Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

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Solanum aviculare. Solanum laciniatum. Poroporo. Main reference.
FAMILY: Solanaceae Potato or nightshade family
BOTANICAL NAME: Solanum aviculare, Solanum laciniatum
MĀORI NAME: PŌPORO, POROPORO, hōreto, peoi (Taylor 1870, Williams), kohoho
Also recorded: koheuheu, turuniu (sic. in Taylor 1847. Doubtful.)
Solanum aviculare: poroporo tanguru (Williams 1971)
Before bearing fruit: pōporo (Best 1908)
When or after bearing fruit: kaoho, , kahoho (Best 1908)
Fruiting specimens: kahoho (Best 1908)
Ripe fruit: hareto, hōuto (used for snaring tūī. Williams 1971)
COMMON NAME: Bullibul; Bullibuli; Kangaroo apple
MEDICINAL: Leaves boiled, poultice on ulcerations. Inner bark used in lotion for scabies (Goldie 1905).
Poultice for sores (Kirk, in Taylor 1870). Leaf - inner skin used for the itch. Boiled with lard makes a very healing salve; used in vapour bath (Taylor 1870).
Poultice for ulcers (Colenso 1869a).
Pith of the stem of poroporo in lotion to be applied to bruises. Young leaves used by a Dr. P. Wilson, Taranaki to make a healing salve, mixed with lard. Very effective for scab in sheep. (O'Carroll 1884 ; Adams 1945)
Leaves, berries - juice expressed used for itch or scabies. Ointment made from leaves with lard is useful as a simple dressing (Bell 1890).
Inner skin of bark used for itch (Cranwell 1941, quoted in Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987 p.225).

Related pharmacology in Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987.
FOOD: 'There are two varieties of this family, one a large shrub producing a berry about the size of a gooseberry, which is eaten; the leaves of the other Raupeti are eaten by the natives either cooked or uncooked. (Taylor 1847)
Cooked leaves and berries eaten. Sometimes planted (Colenso 1869a, 1869b) Fruit used by early colonists around Wellington for making jam (Colenso 1881).
Berries eaten (Makereti 1938)
Burnt forest is speedily occupied by poroporo if left uncultivated. Berries commonly eaten (Taylor 1855; Servant 1973; Best 1942).
DYES: Juice, mixed with soot, rubbed into wounds produced by tattooing instruments (White 1874).
Blue dye (Wall, Cranwell 1943)
DOMESTIC: Juice used for sizing on woodwork before painting (Tuta Nihoniho, Ngāti-Porou, quoted in Best 1925).
FISHING AND HUNTING: Juice used for sizing canoes before painting (White, Barstow, quoted in Best 1925).
PASTIME: Flutes made from woody stems (Colenso 1869a, 1869b)
Flutes, kōauau, made from hollowed out stems (Mair, in Best 1925).