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Posts Tagged ‘Murdoch Riley’

He Aitaka a Tāne
Korokio – As tough as wire-netting

In Māori tradition, the leaves of either korokio or karamū were used in a ceremony to lift the tapu from foods. The hard wiry wood from its intertwined branches was fashioned into fish hooks, and also made into knives to pierce the skin in treating battle wounds or injuries.

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He Aitaka a Tāne
Wharariki easily mistaken for versatile cousin

Although they are widely known as flaxes, wharariki and harakeke are actually lilies. The two species are usually found in different environments, but do cross-breed and hybridise. Horticulturists have bred many coloured ornamental forms that are widely used in landscaping, and some well-known cultivars used by weavers are hybrids.

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He Aitaka a Tāne
Tussocks offer unlikely shelter in a storm

Before human settlement of Aotearoa, the dominant cover of higher alpine grasslands was large snow tussocks of the Chionochloa family. At lower altitudes, sub-alpine grasslands were primarily dominated by short or low tussocks (less than 50 cm), including a taonga species for Ngāi Tahu – silver tussock (Poa cita) – and hard tussock (Festuca novae-zelandiae).

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He Aitaka a Tāne
Sheltering toetoe

Toetoe are our largest native grasses. They are hardy, abundant and commonly found anywhere from swamps and riverbanks to sand dunes, forest margins and dry hillsides between sea level and the subalpine zones of Aotearoa.

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