*Manuka [(Probably) Proto-Polynesian]

Mānuka, Kānuka, Mānuka rauriki

Kunzea ericoides [formerly Leptospermum ericoides] (Myrtaceae)

Tui

ETYMOLOGY:
From (possibly) Proto Pre-Polynesian *Nukanuka, Decaspermum fruticosum; through
Proto Polynesian *Mānuka, A tree with hard, weapons-grade wood, or medicinal properties;

Metrosideros fulgens

Kānuka - closeup of foliage.

Kanuka
Kānuka in flower, Te Māra Reo

COGNATE WORDS IN SOME OTHER POLYNESIAN LANGUAGES
Rennelese: Manguka (Altonia spectabilis)
Tongan : Nukanuka (Decaspermum fruticosum)
Samoan : Nu'anu'a (Decaspermum fruticosum)
Tahitian : Nuanua (Decaspermum fruticosum)

RELATED MĀORI PLANT NAMES
The name Mānuka is shared with two other trees - Leptospermum scoparium (Mānuka, kahikaatoa), and Leupogon fasciculata (Mānuka rauriki, Mingimingi).
Note: See the other linked page/s (highlighted at the top of this page) for more information about the ancestral names, their modern descendents, and the plants they denote. + any similar information.

NOTE - THIS PROTO-PAGE IS STILL IN THE VERY EARLIEST STAGES OF CONSTRUCTION!

The name of this tree is derived ultimately from the Proto-Austronesian word root *nuka' ("wound") and the adjective-forming prefix ma- or the noun-formative ka-. This is discussed in the page about the Proto-Polynesian word root (see the link at the top of this page). "Mānuka rauriki" "small-leaved rauriki" is an alternative name for this tree, referring to its smaller leaves than the "other" mānuka, Leptospermum scoparium, a related plant also called kahikaatoa (there's a link on the side panel!)

The kānuka is a fast-growing tree, with smaller flowers and smaller, softer leaves than the kahikaatoa. It grows to about 15m high, in forests and scrubland, with a trunk 50-60 cm thick when mature and hard, durable wood. It is an excellent host to a wide range of native wildife, and also a good nurse tree. There are many kānuka scattered throughout the language garden.

References and further reading: See linked pages and general works on NZ trees in the bibliography.

Photographs: RB, Te Māra Reo.

Pohutukawa
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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