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Orthoceras novae-zeelandiae. Māikaika. Perei. Horned orchid.

Name document

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Orthoceras solandri, Orthoceras strictum

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māikaikamāikamāmāikaikaikaparatawhiti, perei

Tuber: para 

Large tuber: para kehe

Small tuber: para pōnaho

Tuber with a mottled skin: para tarare. 

Terms taken from Beever 1991

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"Small orchidaceous plant(s) found amongst fern and low tea tree. The tubers contain salep, and are eaten by the natives" (Kirk, in Taylor 1870) ("Salep" is the name for the ground-up tubers of orchids).

"The perei, a large kind, is found in the woods, it produces tubers of considerable size, which are eaten." (Taylor 1855).

Use as food also recorded by Colenso 1868a.

Crowe 1990 has eaten the tubers raw and describes them as having a crisp, tender texture and a sweet, watery taste.

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Tradition has perei brought to New Zealand by Turi in the Aotea (Te Rangi Hiroa 1949).

Digging for perei, the diggers must not mention its name or the root will never be found. At such times it is called māikaika ( Best 1898)

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See also Gastrodia cunninghamii. Same terms used for both plants, and they were used in the same way.

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28 May 2007
2 July 2020
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