Piwakawaka Mini Te Mära Reo ~ The Language Garden
*Manuka [Proto-Polynesian, probably ultimately from Proto-Austronesian *ma- + nuka' "wound"]

Mänuka-rauriki, Mingimingi


Leucopogon fasciculatus (Ericaceae; formerly Cyathodes fasciculata, and placed with other related species in a separate family Epacridaceae, now regarded as part of the Ericaceae [heath family]).



This is a small tree, growing to a height of 5-6 metres in a variety of environments (forest, rocky places, scrubland). The name mänuka rauriki means literally "small-leaved manuka", and is also applied to the kanuka (Kunzea ericoides). The alternative name Mingimingi is a "level 13" name, i.e. one apparently originating in Aotearoa.

It may well be the heath-like appearance of the känuka (evident in its botanical name, Kunzea ericoides, "the heath-like Kunzea") that inspired the alternative name, mänuka rauriki, for that tree. The känuka certainly does have small leaves, and for many decades was grouped by botanists in the same genus (Leptospermum) as the other "mänuka".The mingimingi's leaves, however, while similar in form to those of the other trees, are considerably larger than those of either of its namesakes. However, it certainly could be perceived at first glace as a känuka whose leaves have suddenly been magnified, thus making it a rather long-leaved short-leaved mänuka! Botanically, however, it belongs to a different family of plants, the heaths (Ericaceae), whereas Leptospermum and Kunzea, like the pöhutukawa, are members of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae).



Mingimingi leaves

Mingimingi Flowers
Mingimingi flowers

PPN: *Manuka, A tree with hard, weapons-grade wood, or medicinal properties

Rennelese: Manguka (Altonia spectabilis)
Tongan : Nukanuka (Decaspermum fruticosum)
Samoan : Nu'anu'a (Decaspermum fruticosum)
Tahitian : Nuanua (Decaspermum fruticosum)
Note: In Maori, two other trees, Leptospermum scoparium and Kunzea ericoides, share the name mänuka.


Photographs. The photograph of the mingimingi leaves has been borrowed from "The Bushman's Friend", and the photograph of the flowers is from the University of Auckland's School of Biological Sciences (see link below).


Links: The University of Auckland's School of Biological Sciences website has a page devoted to members of the Ericaceae, with some good photographs of the mingimingi and further information about this shrub.



Hue flower

Te Mära Reo, c/o Benton Family Trust, "Tumanako", RD 1, Taupiri, Waikato 3791, Aotearoa / New Zealand
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