Herb: Konini


Latin name: Fuchsia excorticata


Synonyms: Skinnera excorticata


Family: Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)



Edible parts of Konini:

Fruit - raw or cooked in pies, tarts, cakes, desserts etc. Juicy. A juicy berry, it is sweet but astringent. A unique flavour, they are best combined with potato flour or corn starch in order to temper the slight astringency. Sap - sweet. Obtained by cutting a length of branch and sucking out the sap, it is not freely produced however.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
10 m
(33 feet)

Flovering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Lowlands and lower montane forests, along forest edges, streams and shady gullies on North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.

Other uses of Konini:

A purple dye is obtained from the plant (the part is not specified, though it is likely to be the pollen). It makes a good ink. The pollen is bright blue and was used by the Maoris as a face powder. Wood - very strong and durable with an attractive grain, but hard to work. Used for making small items.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe though it can also be sown in the spring. Surface sow the seed in pots in a warm greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination should take place in less than 6 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Inter-nodal cuttings of greenwood, 5 - 8cm long, May/June in a frame. Quick and easy, a high percentage take. Overwinter in the greenhouse for the first year and plant out after the last expected frosts. Inter-nodal cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very quick and easy, treat as greenwood cuttings above. Cuttings usually succeed at any time during the growing season.

Cultivation of Konini:

Lowlands and lower montane forests, along forest edges, streams and shady gullies on North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Fuchsia excorticata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.