Tutu (plant)

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A Coriaria arborea tree (tutu)

Tutu is a common name of Māori origin for plants in the genus Coriaria (Coriariaceae) found in New Zealand.

Six New Zealand native species are known by the name:

They are shrubs or trees; some are endemic to New Zealand. Most of the plant parts are poisonous, containing the neurotoxin tutin and its derivative hyenanchin. The widespread species Coriaria arborea is most often linked to cases of poisoning.[1]

Honey containing tutin can be produced by bees feeding on honeydew produced by sap-sucking vine hopper insects (genus Scolypopa) feeding on tutu.[2] The last recorded deaths from eating honey containing tutin were in the 1890s,[3] although sporadic outbreaks of toxic honey poisoning continue to occur.[4] Poisoning symptoms include delirium, vomiting, and coma.[5]


  1. ^ "Coriaria arborea var. arborea". New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  2. ^ Background on toxic honey, New Zealand Food Safety Authority
  3. ^ Johnston, Martin (26 March 2008). "Specialists expected tutin honey outbreak". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  4. ^ Pepperell, Susan (15 February 2009). "Four charges laid over toxic honey". The Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Beekeeper to keep selling after poisoning". Stuff.co.nz. NZPA. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011.

External links[edit]

  • Tutu, 1966 Encyclopedia of New Zealand