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Actinidia arguta

Description

Hardy kiwi is an edible woody climbing vine in the Actinidiacea (kiwi) family.  Being dioecious, a male plant is needed in order for the female plant to produce fruit. The buds that produce the flowers and fruits can be found on the interior part of the current year's growth.  Typically, they are not highly visible, being covered by the leaves.  

This plant grows rapidly, and while it typically reaches 30' in height in the garden, in its moist, native habitats, it can grow to 100', often twining into adjoining woodland trees.  It can grow in soil that is slightly acid, slightly alkaline, or neutral.   

Known for being a cold hardy plant, its spring growth can be damaged by a late frost.  

A great choice to add vertical and horizontal cover in a garden.  While the showy leaves can be up to 5" long, the tiny greenish/white flowers are fragrant.  Its rapid growth can quickly fill in the need for a fence or wall cover up.

Unlike kiwi sold commercially, the fruits are much smaller and hairless.  The taste of both fruits are similar, with the Actinidia arguta being milder and less acidic.  They can also be eaten with the skin on and without removing the seeds.  In the springtime, the clear, watery sap can be tapped and used as a drink.  The fruits are typically formed on wood that is in its second year and older.  

Maintenance and pruning activities should be completed during the winter months.  

Resistant to honey fungus.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Its rapid growth, as much as 30' in one year, can cause this plant to be somewhat invasive.  It can also be heavy with fruits, ensure that the structure where it is climbing is strong.  Frequent pruning may be necessary.  

A scent, similar to catnip can be detected by visiting cats who can damage the foliage and roots while digging.

Root rot can be an issue.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Ananasnaya'
    Popular fruiting variety, readily available. Also known as 'Anna'.
  • 'Audrey'
    Cold hardy pollinizer for 'Natasha' and 'Tatyana'
  • 'Bingo'
    Female, pineapple flavored fruit.
  • 'Chang Bai Giant'
    May fruit without male, more abundant fruit when male present.
  • 'Dumbarton Oaks'
    Female, discovered in an old public garden in D.C. Winter hardy.
  • 'Geneva 3'
    Green flesh, tropical flavor.
  • 'Hardy Red'
    Popular fruiting variety, readily available. Red flesh.
  • 'Issai'
    Self-pollinating, lower growing cultivar.
  • 'Jumbo'
    Female, larger fruit, begins producing fruit in 3rd or 4th year.
  • 'Ken's Red'
    Male, used as pollinator.
  • 'Meader'
    Male pollinizer for 'Geneva 3' and other varieties.
  • 'Michigan State'
    Discovered on a fence at Michigan State Univ.
  • 'Natasha'
    More cold hardy than other varieties.
  • 'Scarlet September Kiwi'
  • 'Tatyana'
    More cold hardy than other varieties.
'Ananasnaya', 'Audrey', 'Bingo', 'Chang Bai Giant', 'Dumbarton Oaks', 'Geneva 3', 'Hardy Red', 'Issai', 'Jumbo', 'Ken's Red', 'Meader', 'Michigan State', 'Natasha', 'Scarlet September Kiwi', 'Tatyana'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#fragrant flowers#showy leaves#woody#trellises#twining#woody vine#edible fruits#deciduous vine#screening#twining vine#vertical spaces#clay soils tolerant#vine#arbor#bee friendly#perennial vines#edible#fence#trellis#hedge#long lived
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Ananasnaya'
    Popular fruiting variety, readily available. Also known as 'Anna'.
  • 'Audrey'
    Cold hardy pollinizer for 'Natasha' and 'Tatyana'
  • 'Bingo'
    Female, pineapple flavored fruit.
  • 'Chang Bai Giant'
    May fruit without male, more abundant fruit when male present.
  • 'Dumbarton Oaks'
    Female, discovered in an old public garden in D.C. Winter hardy.
  • 'Geneva 3'
    Green flesh, tropical flavor.
  • 'Hardy Red'
    Popular fruiting variety, readily available. Red flesh.
  • 'Issai'
    Self-pollinating, lower growing cultivar.
  • 'Jumbo'
    Female, larger fruit, begins producing fruit in 3rd or 4th year.
  • 'Ken's Red'
    Male, used as pollinator.
  • 'Meader'
    Male pollinizer for 'Geneva 3' and other varieties.
  • 'Michigan State'
    Discovered on a fence at Michigan State Univ.
  • 'Natasha'
    More cold hardy than other varieties.
  • 'Scarlet September Kiwi'
  • 'Tatyana'
    More cold hardy than other varieties.
'Ananasnaya', 'Audrey', 'Bingo', 'Chang Bai Giant', 'Dumbarton Oaks', 'Geneva 3', 'Hardy Red', 'Issai', 'Jumbo', 'Ken's Red', 'Meader', 'Michigan State', 'Natasha', 'Scarlet September Kiwi', 'Tatyana'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#fragrant flowers#showy leaves#woody#trellises#twining#woody vine#edible fruits#deciduous vine#screening#twining vine#vertical spaces#clay soils tolerant#vine#arbor#bee friendly#perennial vines#edible#fence#trellis#hedge#long lived
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Actinidia
    Species:
    arguta
    Family:
    Actinidiacea
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Make an excellent cover-up.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Russia, China and temperate Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees frequent this plant.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Easy to Grow
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Wind Break
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Edibility:
    The fruit is edible, the sap can be extracted to drink.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 25 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 7 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    A fleshy, true berry, its size similar to a grape or small plum.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The petals are thin and delicate.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green leaves are up to 5" long.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is thin and smooth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators