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Pipturus albidus facts for kids

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Māmaki
Starr 030405-0099 Pipturus albidus.jpg
Scientific classification
Genus:
Pipturus
Species:
albidus

Pipturus albidus, known as māmaki (sometimes waimea, for its resemblance to olomea) in Hawaiian and known as Waimea pipturus in English, is a species of flowering plant in the nettle family, Urticaceae, that is endemic to Hawaiʻi. It inhabits coastal mesic, mixed mesic, and wet forests at elevations of 60–1,830 m (200–6,000 ft). Māmaki is a small tree that reaches a height of 9 m (30 ft) and a trunk diameter of 0.3 m (0.98 ft).

Uses

Medicinal

Native Hawaiians made a treatment for illnesses known as ʻea and ʻaoʻao from the fruit. They also combined fresh māmaki leaves with hot stones and spring water to produce herbal tea that was an effective treatment for general debility. Today, packages of dried māmaki leaves are commercially produced.

Non-medicinal

The bast fibres were used by Native Hawaiians to make kapa (bark cloth) and kaula (rope).

Ecology

P. albidus is the preferred host plant for the caterpillars of the Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea). Māmaki sometimes host the caterpillars of the green Hawaiian blue (Udara blackburni).

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