Piwakawaka Mini Te Mära Reo ~ The Language Garden
The vine of Laeganaria siceraria, the bottle gourd, and various beach creepers of the Convolvulus family..
PROTO CENTRAL EASTERN POLYNESIAN, from PROTO OCEANIC *puRe, beach creepers, especially Ipomoea grandiflora and I. pes-caprae, through PROTO POLYNESIAN *fue various creeping vines, esp. Convolvulus & Ipomoea spp.


In most Eastern Polynesian languages, a word cognate with Mäori pöhue or the reduplicated form pöhuehue is a generic term for beach creepers, especially species of Convolvulus, Ipomoea and other members of the convolvulus family. These words replace hue, also derived from the older, Proto Polynesian *fue (and in turn from Proto Oceanic *puRe), in those contexts. In Eastern Polynesia, the direct reflexes of *fue refer to the bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria.

In Hawaiian and Tuamotuan, however, the reflexes of Central Eastern Polynesian *pohue also refer to the vine of the hue (bottle gourd), although in Hawaiian ipu is the word used more commonly in that context. Elsewhere in Polynesia ipu generally refers to a gourd shaped like or used as a narrow-necked calabash for storing water. In Mäori pöhue has a specific referent , the native bindweed Calystegia sepium, while the reduplicated form pöhuehue is a more general term denoting vigorously climbing plants from several botanically quite different plant families.

In Hawaii and Rarotonga, leguminous vines such as Canavalia sericea, which have similar habits of growth and similar habitats to the convolvulus relatives are also refered to as pöhue and pö'ue respectively, despite the differences in the appearance of their flowers. Flower-size and shape also seems to be irrelevant, and leaf colour or shape and habit of growth the deciding criteria for the grouping together of the New Zealand species which share the designation pöhuehue.

The Lagenaria gourd was everywhere a carefully cultivated and economically important plant. The other plants sharing the names derived from *pöhue are wild plants many of which, like the New Zealand Calystegia, despite the beauty of their flowers no doubt become weeds and are treated as pests when they appear on cultivated land.

Hue - tahaIpomoea pes-caprae on the beach in Tonga

Tahitian: Pöhue (Ipomoea pes-caprae [Convolvulaceae])
Hawaiian: Pöhue (Lagenaria siceraria [Cucurbitaceae] - vine; also Canavalia sericea [Fabaceae]); pöhuehue (Ipomoea pes-caprae)
Tuamotuan: Pöhue (L. siceraria - vine; Convolvulus sp.)
Rarotongan: Pö'ue (Littoral creepers, esp. Ipomoea pes-caprae, I. macrantha, Merremia spp. [Convolvulaceae], Canavalia spp., Vigna marina [Fabaceae])
Maori: Pöhue (Calystegia sepium [Convolvulaceae]); Pöhuehue, Popohue (Climbing vines esp. Clematis spp. [Ranunculaceae], Muehlenbeckia complexa [Polygonaceae], & Passiflora tetranda [Passifloraceae])

Related Words: *hue

CaptionCanavalia sericea (Tahiti)

CaptionCalystegia sepium (Te Mära Reo)


Photographs: Canavalia seriacea: Die Planzenwelt Polynesiens;Ipomoea pes-caprae. Photo by "Tauʻolunga", http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ipomoea_pes-caprae_3.jpg; Calystegia sepium Te Mära Reo.

Hue flower

Te Mära Reo, c/o Benton Family Trust, "Tumanako", RD 1, Taupiri, Waikato 3791, Aotearoa / New Zealand
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