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Sphagnum spp. Mārū. Kohukohu.

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mārū, kohukohu 

From a letter from K. W. Allison, Forest Ranger at Kaingaroa Plantation to Conservator of Forests, Rotorua, 3 October 1939: "Māoris, asked for their name for Sphagnum gave two names, Maru and Kohukohu, but seemed uncertain of the delimitation of the names, some stating that kohukohu was the name of swamp mosses other than Sphagnum."

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Sphagnum was collected as part of the war effort (World War II), to be used as a surgical dressing. Advantages over cotton: i) absorbs fluids about 3x as fast ii) can hold 16x its own weight (cotton about 6x) iii) retains liquids better iv) efficient right up to saturation point, whereas cotton is not. (Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research files).

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28 May 2007
12 June 2020
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