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Carex secta. Carex spp. Sedges. Pūrei.

Name document

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niggerhead (used by early European settlers, no longer used as it is racist and offensive)

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This large sedge is widespread in swamps throughout NZ. Williams 1971 lists many of the Māori names as pertaining to Carex diandra ( a smaller species, not as widespread). It is likely that the names also refer to C. secta and other common Carex species. The definition for pūrei, pūreirei reads: "Carex diandra and perhaps other species, niggerhead; a sedge plant which grows in raised tufts".

Beattie 1920 says: "Pukio was the Maori name of "niggerheads', and there is a stream beyond the Waiau known as Wai-pukio"

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Tamatea: found in swampy places in open country, used as thatch for huts (Best 1907). Carex secta?

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He pūreirei whakamatuatanga. A faithful fatherly tuft of rushes.

This is said of a good solid tuft of rushes in a swamp, which, in crossing the swamp, you stand on to rest awhile, and to look around before you take the next step. A word of caution for many things. "Look before you leap" (Colenso 1880: 131)

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18 November 2009
20 December 2021
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