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Rhopalostylis sapida (Nikau Palm)

Rhopalostylis sapida (Nikau Palm)


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Rhopalostylis sapida, commonly known as nīkau (Māori: nīkau), is a palm tree endemic to New Zealand, and the only palm native to mainland New Zealand. This is the most commonly grown variety.

Māori found many uses for nīkau. The bases of the inner leaves and the young flower clusters were eaten raw or cooked. Food was wrapped in the leaves for cooking, and the old fibrous leaves were used for kete, floor mats, and waterproof thatch for buildings. Nīkau were a versatile material to use in weaving, as the fibres could be used raw without any need for processing.

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