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Asplenium bulbiferum. Mouku. Hen and chicken fern.

Name document
Chemistry
Fibre
Food
Medicinal
Proverbs
Traditions

Click to collapse Māori names Info

Whole plant: MOUKUmoukimaukumanamana 

Young plant: tururu-mauku 

Sprouts, undeveloped fronts: manehau (Best 1942), pikopiko 

Click to collapse Common names Info

Click to collapse Food Info

Young, undeveloped fronds eaten (Colenso 1868a, 1880; Best 1902, 1907, 1942; Makereti 1938)

A favourite kinaki (relish) for potatoes. Small baskets of eel or kokopu covered with pūwhā or mauku for cooking - leaves eaten as greens (Best 1902)

The juice was drunk and the root eaten (Taylor 1870). [?? Mouku also used for king fern and the baked stem of Cordyline pumilio. Ed.]

Click to collapse Fibre Info

In ancient times, "the leaves of the mauku (Asplenium bulbiferum) woven into a sort of rude mat, and a very poor and perishable one it must have been. ... worn at night only, being warmed at a fire and used as a covering. They were too perishable to be worn outside." (Best 1898: 643) [?? mauku is also Cordyline pumilio, a more likely choice for making a garment. Ed.]

Click to collapse Medicinal Info

An infusion of the roots was used as a wash for cutaneous complaints. (Taylor 1870)

A wash obtained from the root is used for sore eyes. (Kerry-Nicholls 1886)

Leaves contain antioxidant flavonoids (Cambie, Ferguson 2003)

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

Click to collapse Chemistry Info

Chemical compounds in Cambie 1988, with references.

Click to collapse Proverbs Info

Sayings in Best 1899. "Rua-tahuna kākahu mauku" and "Rua-tahuna paku kore"

Click to collapse Traditions Info

Best 1907 (p.249) records this tradition from Pio of Awa [sic]. "Persons go to the forest to fell a tree for a canoe. The first thing is to kindle the ahi purakau . When it burns up, a chip, a piece of bark, is put on the fire, as also some mauku (a fern - Asplenium bulbiferum). The fire is kindled at the base of the tree. Then the karakia is recited ..... Then the tree is felled. Best also says "A Ngati-Awa note in my note-book says that when a canoe was dubbed out in the forest, fronds of the mauku fern were fastened thereon, though the meaning of the act is not explained"

See also Asplenium oblongifolium

Click to collapse Metadata Info

f0ca5208-b067-4960-ae50-0c6a41f1da6b
name
28 May 2007
2 July 2020
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