PROTO-POLYNESIAN ETYMOLOGIES
*Puka [Proto Polynesian]
A general term (taxon) for large littoral trees, notably including Pisonia grandis (Nyctagynaceae), along with Hernandia nymphaefolia and Gyrocarpus americanus (Hernandiaceae).
Tui
From PROTO EASTERN OCEANIC *buka, "Large littoral trees, including Pisonia species (Nyctagynaceae), and Gyrocarpus americanus (Hernandiaceae) ",
through PROTO CENTRAL PACIFIC *buka, As for Proto Eastern Oceanic, but expanded to include Hernandia nymphaefolia (Hernandiacae).

Proto Polynesian: *Puka
REFLEXES IN SOME POLYNESIAN LANGUAGES:
Tongan: Puko (Pisonia grandis, Nyctagynaceae and Hernandia nymphaefolia, "Lantern tree", Hernandiaceae).
Niuean: Puka tea (Pisonia grandis, Nyctagynaceae).
Samoan: Pu'a (Hernandia nymphaefolia, "Chinese lantern tree", Hernandiaceae; Pu'a vai, Pisonia grandis, Nyctagynaceae).
Tikopia: Puka (Hernandia nymphaefolia, "Lantern tree", Hernandiaceae).
Marquesan: Puka (Hernandia nukuhivensis, Hernandiaceae).
Tahitian: Puka (Passiflora foetida "love-in-a-mist", Passifloraceae).
Tuamotuan: Puka (Pisonia grandis, Nyctagynaceae).
Rarotongan: Puka (Hernandia nymphaefolia "Chinese lantern tree ", Hernandiaceae; Pisonia grandis [a.k.a Puka tea], Nyctagynaceae).
Maori: Puka (Meryta sinclairii, "Puka", Araliaceae; Griselinia lucida "Puka, akapuka, pukatea, akakōpuka", Griseliniaceae; Syzygium maire "Swamp Maire", Myrtaceae; Muhlenbeckia australis "Large-leaved Muhlenbeckia ", Polygonaceae). Puka is also an alternative name for the introduced wild cabbage, Brassica oleracea, Cruciferae, also known as nanī, rearea, hāria, nīko and paea.
Kāpuka (Griselinia littoralis, "Kapuka, Broadleaf ", Griseliniaceae).
Pukapuka (Brachyglottis repanda, "Rangiora", Asteraceae).

Tapa-Samoa
Reserved for a photograph -
(Watch this space!)
Tapa-Samoa
Reserved for a photograph -
(Watch this space!)

COGNATE REFLEXES IN SOME OTHER AUSTRONESIAN LANGUAGES
Kiribati (Micronesia): buka (Pisonia grandis, Nyctagynaceae)
South Efate (Vanuatu): Na-puk, Na-puk-mokul (Pisonia umbellifera, Nyctagynaceae)
Bauan Fijian: Buka ni vuda (Guioa rhoifolia, Sapindaceae)

RELATED WORDS
*Puka tea (Pisonia grandis, "Lettuce tree", Nyctagynaceae) [Cognates in Niuean, Rarotongan, Tuamotuan and Māori].


Watch this space! This is a page still very much under construction, but which contains the essential linguistic and botanical information, and to which both text and pictures will be added progressively as soon as time permits. See the "News" for January 2018 for more information. See the first item in the "News" page for more information.

This name appears to have been a vaguely generic term used to denote a select group of large littoral trees in the absence of a more specific name. In later iterations in various languages it has usually retained this function, while often at the same time becoming a primary name for a particular species, in tropical Polynesia usually a Pisonia or Hernandia, sometimes one species from each of those genera. {More to come ... watch this space!}

Sunset-Tiapapata
Reserved for photograph - yet to come
(Aroha mai!)
Kauri+Text
Reserved for photograph - yet to come
(Aroha mai!)
Further information : More later, but in the mean time, check the Bibliography for material on New Zealand and tropical plants .
Photographs: Yet to appear!

Te Mära Reo, c/o Benton Family Trust, "Tumanako", RD 1, Taupiri, Waikato 3791, Aotearoa / New Zealand. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License