Coriaria sarmentosa - G.Forst.
Common Name Tuhu
Family Coriariaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards All parts of the plant, except the 'fruit' (actually the petals) are highly poisonous[61, 153, 173].
Habitats Open places, especially on debris slopes, from the coast to the upper montane areas on North, South and Stewart Islands[44].
Range New Zealand.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

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Coriaria sarmentosa Tuhu

Coriaria sarmentosa Tuhu
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Coriaria sarmentosa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

C. ruscifolia. L.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or used as a beverage[11, 46, 61, 105, 153]. The pressed fruit is drunk raw or fermented into a wine[2]. Use with great caution since most parts of the plant, including the seed[173], are very toxic and some reports suggest the fruit should not be used at all[11].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses

A black ink is obtained from the leaves, it can also be used as a dye[46, 139, 153]. The bark can also be used, it is rich in tannin.
Cultivation details
Prefers a fairly good loamy soil in a sunny sheltered position[11, 164, 200. Succeeds in light shade[200]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c and succeeds outdoors from Sussex and westwards[200]. There is some confusion over the name of this species, some botanists unite this species with the S. American C. ruscifolia whilst others maintain that they are distinct[11, 200]. The roots of plants in this genus bear nitrogen-fixing nodules[218]. Whilst much of the nitrogen will be utilized by the growing plant, some of it will become available for other plants growing nearby[K].
Seed - sow February/March in a greenhouse[78]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[164]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Fair percentage[78].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Botanical References
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Readers comment
David Nicholls   Fri Sep 12 2008
The treatment for Tutu poisoning is barbituates(p.56 H.E. Conner.The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand).
dn   Tue Dec 23 2008
The toxin in Tutu can end up in honey if the insect known as Passionvine Hopper has been sucking on the sap leaving honey dew eaten by bees, this is rare in New Zealand but something to think about when considering planting it.
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Subject : Coriaria sarmentosa  

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