Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

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Lepidium oleraceum. Nau. Cook's scurvy grass.
FAMILY: Brassicaceae Cabbage or cress family
BOTANICAL NAME: Lepidium oleraceum
MĀORI NAME: NAU, ngau (Taylor 1847), naunau (Taylor 1855); heketara (D'Urville. [Name usually used for Olearia spp.])
COMMON NAME: Cook's scurvy grass
DESCRIPTION: ''Ngau, a large kind growing like the wallflower in most rock places on the South Western coast'' (Taylor 1847)
''Nau, large plant very similar in size and appearance to the common wall flower; it is found in rocky places, and bears a white flower'' (Taylor 1848)
''The naunau has a thick dark glossy leaf; of an oval form; and bears a very small white flower; in size and appearance it resembles the wallflower'' (Taylor 1855)

MEDICINAL: For related pharmacology, and chemistry, see Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987.
See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
FOOD: Eaten as greens. Used as antiscorbutic by Cook. Once a common coastal plant, but now rare (very palatable to animals).