*Puka [Proto Polynesian]


Griselinia littoralis, "Broadleaf" (Griseliniaceae)


Alternative names for the kāpuka are māihiihi, pāpāuma, paraparauma, and tapatapauma.

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),
to PROTO POLYNESIAN *Puka Pisonia grandis, "Chinese Lantern Tree " (Nyctagynaceae), and other large littoral trees (generic name) + derivational prefix kā-.

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

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, Pukatea (Pisonia grandis, Nyctagynaceae).
Rarotongan: Puka (Hernandia nymphaefolia "Chinese lantern tree ", Hernandiaceae; Pisonia grandis [a.k.a. Puka tea ], Nyctagynaceae).

The fruit of the kāpuka is known as huariki.
Puka (Meryta sinclairii, Araliaceae, Griselinia lucida, Griseliniaceae, and several other trees);
Pukapuka (Reduplicated form of Puka): Brachyglottis repanda "Rangiora", Asteraceae.
Pukatea (Puka + tea "white" Species name, "Common name", Familyaceae) [also cognates in Marquesan, Niuean, Rarotongan and Tuamotuan];
Akapuka (Aka "vine" + Puka) Griselinia lucida, "Puka, akapuka", Griseliniaceae.

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

This tree has a number of local names, māihiihi, pāpāuma, paraparauma, and tapatapauma, in addition to this inherited one. Despite its Latin specific name, and the association of "puka" as a name for littoral trees, the kāpuka is found in a wide variety of habitats; in wet ecosystems it may perch on other trees and send its roots down into the damp soil below. {More later.}

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

Photographs: Details when they are in place! Meanwhile try the NZPCN website.

Reserved for photograph - yet to come
(Aroha mai!)
Reserved for photograph - yet to come
(Aroha mai!)

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