Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Beilschmiedia tarairi. Taraire.
FAMILY: Lauraceae Laurel or tawa family
BOTANICAL NAME: Beilschmiedia tarairi
PREVIOUS NAMES: Laurus macrophylla (recorded in Taylor 1870)
MĀORI NAME: TARAIRE; tarairi (Taylor 1847).
COMMON NAME: taraire
FOOD: '.. the pulp is sweet, but has too strong a taste of turpentine to be agreeable' (Taylor 1847)
Large berries eaten when boiled (Kirk, in Taylor 1855). Large, plum-like fruit, fine-looking but not very gustable. Eaten especially by children (Colenso 1869a).
DOMESTIC: Among museum artefacts he tested Wallace 1989 found a maul, an eel club, and 2 teka made of taraire
CONSTRUCTION: Timber of little use - light, splits easily, soon rots (Colenso 1869a).
FISHING AND HUNTING: Among Ngāpuhi, taraire or tawa used to make fires for hollowing out logs for canoe (Best 1925)