Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

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Pseudopanax arboreus. Whauwhaupaku. Five-finger.
FAMILY: Araliaceae Aralia or Ivy family
BOTANICAL NAME: Pseudopanax arboreus
PREVIOUS NAMES: Nothopanax arboreus ; Neopanax arboreus ; Panax arboreus ; Panax arboreum (Name recorded in Taylor 1855)
MĀORI NAME: WHAUWHAUPAKU, ([waupaku, wauwaupaku] as recorded in Taylor 1855), houhou, puahou (Best 1908), tauparapara (Williams 1971)
First puahou to blossom: tahumate (Best 1908)
COMMON NAME: five finger
MEDICINAL: See Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
FOOD: Horses eat bark (Best 1908)
DYES: Khaki dye (Wall, Cranwell 1943)
DOMESTIC: The gum, pia houhou, used in join of water vessel to prevent leakage (Best 1927).
Bark sometimes used to make small water vessels ( Best 1903, 1942)
FISHING AND HUNTING: Bark used green to make skids for hauling canoes (Best 1925)
PASTIME: Waiapu natives say that wood used for fashioning a flute taken from a tree growing in an exposed condition (Best 1925)