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Calystegia sepium. Pōhue. New Zealand bindweed.

Name document

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Convolvulus sepium

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Click to collapse Food Info

Used as a vegetable (Colenso 1880).

Leaves eaten in Tūhoe district (Best 1902, 1942).

It has a long, fleshy root, which was formerly eaten (Taylor 1855)

Thick, fleshy roots cooked and eaten (Kirk, in Taylor 1870 ; Taylor 1855 ; Colenso 1868a).

Root "long and tough, and got after much trouble. It was quite good to eat" (Makereti 1938)

Roots dried, soaked before steaming. Described by Potts 1879 as "floury as a potato with a slight bitter taste"

Root of pōhue a delicacy. Very plentiful. ("Crayon", in New Zealand Journal, April 1842, quoted in Best 1942).

Click to collapse Medicinal Info

Colenso notes that while the roots of this plant are eaten in New Zealand, in England and elsewhere the roots are highly purgative (Colenso 1880).

Roots boiled and eaten by nursing mothers (T. Kururangi 1941).

Other forms used in Far East for tonic properties. (Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987).

See also Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.

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"He nui pohue toro ra raro. The convolvulus (roots are) many and spread below (the soil): ... just as the secret thoughts of men's heart are hidden within." (Colenso 1879: 130).

Click to collapse Traditions Info

A tradition on origin of pōhue recorded in Colenso 1881a ; Te Rangi Hiroa 1949.

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28 May 2007
2 July 2020
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