Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Cyperus ustulatus. Cutty grass. Main reference.
FAMILY: Cyperaceae. Sedge family
BOTANICAL NAME: Cyperus ustulatus
MĀORI NAME: toetoe (general name for grasses and sedges); toetoe whatu-manu (Best); toetoe whatu-pākau; upoko-tangata (Best (1910) says name upoko-tangata is applied loosely to this plant and Scirpus fluviatilis (now Bolboschoenus fluviatilis).
Toetoe upoko-tangata. Two varieties recognised (Best 1910).
Pākau: kite made of rushes etc. stretched on a frame.
COMMON NAME: coastal cutty grass; Cyperus; giant umbrella sedge
MEDICINAL: Pith boiled with water, strained, bottled. Used in North Auckland districts for kidney trouble (Adams 1945).

Related pharmacology in Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987

See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.

DOMESTIC: Leaves, stripped of outside edges, used for mats and baskets (Colenso 1869b).
CONSTRUCTION: Used for outer thatch of houses (Colenso 1869a)
PASTIME: Used for making kites (Colenso 1869a; Best 1925)