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Turutu is also known as New Zealand blueberry. The genus name, Dianella, comes from the name Diana, Roman goddess of the moon who was originally a woodland deity.
Turutu has whitish flowers that appear in late spring and are followed by blue-grey to purplish small berries in summer. The berries are eaten by birds, but their very bitter taste makes them inedible to humans.
The leaves, however, have often been used by children. They fold a leaf into a tube and blow through to produce an ear splitting whistle.
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