One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A New Zealand climbing plant with edible bracts, and leaves which are used for basket-making and weaving.
Freycinetia banksii, family Pandanaceae
- ‘Kiekie has climbing stems and long narrow flax-like leaves.’
- ‘Kiekie is found in North Island and also on the west coast of South Island down to Milford Sound, from coastal to montane forests and scrub.’
- ‘I have long known that rats, which I suppose are Norway rats, were in the habit of climbing up the many-stemmed and thickly-clustering heads of the kiekie, a many-headed plant which clings so pertinaciously to many of our forest-trees, and often ascends to a considerable height.’
Mid 19th century: from Maori.
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