Rhopalostylis sapida. Nīkau.
Excellent eating -juicy, succulent, nutty. As obtaining the heart meant killing the plant, not commonly used (Colenso 1880).
Heart blanched. A favoured food, but not commonly eaten (Makereti 1938).
Heart eaten (Allom, in Earp 1853).
"the tender shoot is eaten; it tastes somewhat like a nut" (Taylor 1855).
"The rito, root (sic) has a very sweet taste..."(Servant 1973).
"...regularly placed on while fresh, and their long narrow pinnate leaflets neatly interlaced; these, which were green at first, soon became of a uniform dark-brown colour on drying, serving remarkably well to set off to advantage the light-coloured rafters of karui , or of tawa wood. This manner of roofing, chiefly obtained at the north, among the Ngapuhi tribe, where the totara timber was not so common as at the south" (Colenso 1881).
"The pinnate leaf is of large size, and is used in lining the inside of the roof; the natives plait it very neatly" (Taylor 1855).
Used for thatching on storage houses (Best 1916).
"In the opinion of New Zealanders, this root has medicinal properties..." (Servant 1973).
Pith used as laxative (Faulkner 1958).
Related pharmacology in Brooker, Cambie and Cooper, 1987.
"Mehemea ka koeretia te rau o te nīkau, ka rara te waha" (when a leaf of the nīkau is torn off, its voice shrieks) - alludes to sound caused by tearing off the leaf-bases (Best 1902).