One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small bushy New Zealand tree of the violet family, with whitish bark and clusters of small greenish flowers.
Melicytus ramiflorus, family Violaceae
- ‘A beautiful evergreen tree with red, orange, or yellow flowers, blue mahoe is native to Jamaica.’
Early 19th century: from Maori.
Any of a number of tropical trees and shrubs yielding bast that is used to make cordage.
Several species, especially of the genus Hibiscus (family Malvaceae), in particular the widespread H. tiliaceus and the Caribbean H. elatus
- ‘The blue mahoe (Hibiscus elatus) could have been brought to Jamaica from Cuba by the Arawaks to be used for bark rope (Adams 1971).’
From Arawak maho.
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