Māori Plant Use

   Skip Navigation Links
Copyright © 2021

Plant Use Details 

Pittosporum tenuifolium. Kōhūhū. Main reference.
FAMILY: Pittosporaceae Pittosporum family
BOTANICAL NAME: Pittosporum tenuifolium
MĀORI NAME: KŌHŪHŪ, kohukohu, koihu, kaikaro, pōwhiri, pōhiri, tāwhiri, tawiri (Taylor 1870), tawhiwhi, rautāwhiri, kōwhiwhi (all in Best, Williams 1971); māpauriki (Beever 1991),
Gum used as scent: tāwhiri
COMMON NAME: black matipo; silverleaf Best 1908; turpentine-tree; black birch latter two names both in Conservator of State Forests 1877
NOTES: ''In many parts of the colony, the small-leaved tarata (Pittosporum tenuifolium) is called black birch'' (Conservator of State Forests 1877)
MEDICINAL: Fresh gum resin mixed with thickened juice of pūhā chewed as a masticatory (Colenso 1869a ; Bretts Guide 1883 ; Best 1942).
CHEMISTRY: Essential oil contains alpha-pinene and other components described by Calder and Carter (1949).
SCENT: Fragrant gum used to perfume tītoki and kōhia oils obtained by bruising bark of tree (Colenso 1869a, 1892b ; Best 1942)
TRADITIONS: Green branchlet used in baptism ceremony (Best 1929).