One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several small trees or shrubs of the genus Dracophyllum (family Epacridaceae), which bear clusters of long leaves on branch tips; especially D. latifolium and (more fully "mountain neinei") D. traversii.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Joel Polack (1807–1882), trader and author. From Maori neinei.
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