T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Pomaderris kumeraho (Gumdiggers soap, Kumerahou)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Pomaderris
Scientific name: Pomaderris kumeraho.
Common names: Gum diggers soap, Kumerahou, New Zealand Golden Tainui, Papapa, Poverty weed.

Pomaderris kumarahou is a shrub which grows up to 3m. It is endemic to North Island only from Te Paki to just south of the Kawhia Harbour and Te Kuiti in the west and the northern Bay of Plenty in the east. It habitat is coastal to lowland, in open, early to mid successional habitats. Often on roadside banks, and in gumland vegetation and ocasionally seen in forested situations.
During September - October it has numerous and bright yellow flowers and its fruits develop Novermber - January.
It is now sold in specialised nurseries.

The following information was condensed from New Zealand Medicinal Plants by Booker, Cambie and Cooper. Commenting on the known usages of Kumeraho, the authors state that the leaves were decocted and the liquid taken internally for all chest complaints. bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis and asthma. It was also said that it was a good blood cleanser, with a beneficial effect on the kidneys. The authors further report that Reverend Edgar Ward (1863 - 1934), who was also a qualified pharmacist; marketed a patent remedy called 'Kuranui ' It was apparently made with Kumeraho, Koromiko and other unspecified herbs. The mixture was claimed to be a specific for tuberculosis and asthma. The authors also state that they have a personal communication from the Reverend Ward's daughter. She has spoken of the many Maori that her father cured of TB, by the use of Kumeraho.
Chemistry: The leaves and flowers of Pomaderris Kumeraho, contains the flavonols, quercetin and kaempferol, plus ellagic acid and its O-methyl ethers. The fresh leaves when crushed and rubbed in the hands with water will also produce a lather. This is due to the saponins, hence its folk name of Gum Diggers soap.

In bud.Taranaki mid September at Te Kainga Marire Gardens , New Plymouth.


Flowering occurs September - October,




Close up of the flower.


The top surface of a leaf.
 

The underneath side of a leaf.

Flower buds May

The seeds late November. New Plymouth