*Lama [Proto Nuclear Polynesian]

Ramarama

Lophomyrtus bullata (Myrtaceae); Pseudowintera colorata, "Horopito" (Winteraceae)

Tui

ETYMOLOGY:
From Proto Nuclear Polynesian *Lama, a tree used for making torches; a word which can be traced back through Proto Polynesian *Lama, "torch", to Proto Oceanic *ma-ramaR "shine, shining, bright", and beyond, possibly to Proto Austronesian. See the link at the top of this page, and the discussion under words associated with *niu, "coconut" for the full etymology of this word.

RamaramaLophomyrtus bullata - Ramarama
(Te Māra Reo)
Horopito
Pseudowintera colorata - Ramarama, Horopito
(Te Māra Reo)

COGNATE WORDS IN SOME OTHER POLYNESIAN LANGUAGES
Samoan: Lama (Aleurites moluccana, "Candlenut tree ", Euphorbiaceae).
Hawaiian: Lama (Diospyros hillebrandii & D. sandwicensis, "lama, ēlama", Ebenaceae).
Mangareva: Rama (Aleurites moluccana "Candlenut tree ", Euphorbiaceae).

RELATED MĀORI PLANT NAMES
Horopito (originating in Aotearoa) is an alternative name for Pseudowintera colorata.


Watch this space! This page is still very much under construction, but contains the essential linguistic and botanical information. Both text and pictures will be added progressively as soon as time permits. See the "News" for February 2016 for more information.

These plants get their shared name (ramarama) from the way their colourful and variously hued leaves reflect or give the impression of light. Lophomyrtus bullata is often found near streams and in damp places in the bush, and the horopito (Pseudowintera) has peppery leaves which have important culinary uses.

References and further reading: See linked pages and general works on NZ trees in the bibliography. There is information about Lophomyrtus bullata and Pseudowintera colorata, a.k.a. Horopito, on the NZPCN website.

Photographs: The photograph of the flowers of Lophomyrtus bullata is by Wayne Bennett (NZ Plant Conservation Network), used by kind permission. The others are of plants in Te Māra Reo. More photographs are to come, along with additional information about these plants.

Horopito
Pseudowintera colorata (showing underside of leaves)
Te Māra Reo
Ramarama
Inflorescence of Lophomyrtus bullata
Photograph(c) Wayne Bennett, NZPCN

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