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Aseroe rubra. Puapua-a-Atutahi. Flower fungus.

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One of the Stinkhorn fungi. "The puapua-o-autahi sometimes called mekemeke on account of its rough (humekemeke) surface. The puapua grows in spring, on the ground. Usually found growing among puahou (five finger), rautāwhiri Pittosporum), and kokomuka (Hebe)". (Best 1902)

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Eaten after prolonged cooking. Matatua Māori enveloped fungus in many layers of rangiora leaves, buried package in hot ashes, where it remained for a long period ( Best 1902, 1906, 1942). When cooking pots were acquired then it was boiled ( Best 1902).

"Should a person eat the puapua-a-autahi raw, or without being properly cooked, he will be seriously affected thereby, and stagger about, unable to control himself" ( Best 1902, 1942).

See also Colenso 1868a.

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28 May 2007
22 June 2020
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