Story: Poisonous plants and fungi

Taro tubers for sale

Taro tubers for sale

Taro is a staple food of Pacific Islanders and East Asians, who grow the plant for its starchy underground stems (tubers) and edible leaves. It was first brought to New Zealand by Māori and grown in northern districts, but now fresh taro is imported from the Pacific Islands. Uncooked taro tubers contain poisons that irritate the membranes of the mouth and throat. The tubers need to be peeled and well cooked before they are eaten.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Margaret Lovell-Smith

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Poisonous plants and fungi - Poisonous plants used for food', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 April 2024)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Sep 2007