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Phormium sp. Edible flax. Kōpakipaki-ika.

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Best 1907: 232; "Local natives say that an edible variety of flax formerly grew at Tieke, in the Rua-tahuna district. The leaves were dark-coloured, with reddish edges. The base of the leaves was eaten. This plant has disappeared. In this connection, I take the following from a newspaper item: "Mr. McGregor said that there is an edible variety of flax in the Taupo district. It is called kōpakipaki-ika by the Natives. The main root grows to a great length. It is white in colour, and resembles celery outwardly. It has a sweet taste, which is a contrast to the bitter taste of the ordinary flax"

Best 1902: 59; "I am informed that a species of harakeke (Phormium tenax) formerly grew, or was cultivated, here at Rua-tahuna of which the bases of the leaves were cooked and eaten. It must surely be very different to any harakeke I wot of. The leaves were dark-coloured (pango), with brownish (whero) edges." On page 110, Best says that "the variety of flax of which the bases of the leaves were eaten resembled the awanga variety in appearance"

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28 May 2007
2 July 2020
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