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Phormium tenax 'Ateraukawa'. Harakeke cultivar.

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Harakeke cultivar. 1) The following comments have been taken from the report of the Flax Commissioners 1870, 1871

Best, most abundant fibre. Not large (compared with Huhiroa). Quick grower, matures earliest. When young, leaf is light olive-green. When mature, bronze. Young leaf is gothic pointed. Edge is dull dark brown, lighter in inner margin. Sometimes brown, relieved by a bright red line (Kelly, New Plymouth)

Breaking strain max 90 (Opunake Native)

Broad leaf. Light green. Abrupt at the points. Edges are light brown. (Armstrong, Christchurch Domain)

Lengthy and strong fibre (Woon, Ngatiruanui)

Produces best and most abundant fibre. (Native Taranaki).

Local Māori prepared samples for Flax Commissioners. Hatiraukawa, used for finest mats, probably same as Oue. (Heaphy, East Coast)

Haultain, writing of Opunake region, considered Atiraukawa the best flax in the neighbourhood. Not cultivated. Seedlings raised in Botanical Gardens, Wellington 1870 from Taranaki seed.

2) Some of best, most abundant fibre. Quick growing plant. Small compared with Huhiroa. Young leaves bright deep green, lustered with brown when mature. Andersen 1907

3) Lists Ateraukawa (no description). Also Katiraukawa, a fine variety Best 1942

4) Favourite variety on parts of the West Coast. Hector 1889

5) Viv Gregory Collection, Kaitaia; Ate raukawa. Same as Atemango, perhaps longer. Used for kits.

6) Katiraukawa. Slightly drooping variety, often 12 feet high. Resembles Awanga, but finer softer fibre. Used for softer parts of best mats, etc. ( New Zealand Department of Agriculture 1908)

7); Selection grown at Weraroa by Department of Agriculture from seed. Wide variation in seedlings. ( Drysdale and McGregor 1910)

8) "The famous katiraukawa, whose fibre was so sought after for weaving, is too thick and strong in the leaf for baskets and mats" (Te Rangi Hiroa 1923)

9) A variety of flax (Williams 1971)

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28 May 2007
20 May 2020
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