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Actinidia arguta - (Siebold.&Zucc.)Planch. ex Miq.                
Common Name Tara Vine
Family Actinidiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Climbing up trees in woodland, mountain forests, thickets, streamsides and moist places at elevations of 700 - 3600 metres[11, 198,266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of climber
Actinidia arguta is a deciduous Climber growing to 15 m (49ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 11-May It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms A. giraldii. Diels. A. megalocarpa. Nakai. Trochostigma arguta. Sieb.&Zucc.
Actinidia arguta Tara Vine

Actinidia arguta Tara Vine
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Sap.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use[1, 3, 61, 105]. Sweeter than A. deliciosa, the kiwi fruit[183], the skin is smooth and can be eaten with the fruit[K]. The fruit contains up to 5 times the vitamin C content of blackcurrants[74]. Highly esteemed according to one report[151] whilst another says that they are insipid[11]. The fruits are greenish-yellow or purple-red when mature and are about 2 to 3cm long[198, 266]. They contain a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit[K]. The plant is rich in sap and this can be tapped and drunk in the spring[105, 177, 183].
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
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a sound loamy neutral soil[1, 200]. Tolerates acid and moderately alkaline soils[202]. Succeeds in semi-shade but full sun is best for fruit production[200]. Prefers a sheltered position[200]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to -30°c or more, but the young spring growth is susceptible to frost damage[160]. Some cultivars are said to tolerate temperatures down to about -50°c when fully dormant[160]. This species is often cultivated for its edible fruit and it is increasingly being seen as having potential in Britain. There are some named varieties[183]. Plants are usually dioecious but the cultivar 'Issai' is self-fertile[200]. A polymorphic species[74]. Fruits are formed on second year wood and also on fruit spurs on older wood[126], any pruning is best carried out in the winter[219]. Plants only flower when grown in warm climates[202]. This species flowers well in gardens in the south and west of Britain[219], the small flowers being sweetly scented[245]. This is a climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around branches etc[200]. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[133]. It is probably best if the seed is given 3 months stratification[113], either sow it in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in November or as soon as it is received. Fresh seed germinates in 2 - 3 months at 10°c, stored seed can take longer[133]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. When the plants are 30cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[K]. Most seedlings are male[126]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so they must be kept well ventilated[113]. Cuttings of softwood as soon as ready in spring in a frame[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very high percentage[113]. Cuttings of ripe wood, October/November in a frame.
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Actinidia arguta cordifolia 40
Actinidia arguta rufa 40
Actinidia arisanensis 30
Actinidia asymmetrica 30
Actinidia callosa 30
Actinidia callosa formosana 30
Actinidia callosa henryi 30
Actinidia callosa indochinensis 30
Actinidia callosa pubescens 30
Actinidia chinensisKiwi42
Actinidia coriacea 30
Actinidia deliciosaKiwi Fruit51
Actinidia eriantha 30
Actinidia fortunatii 30
Actinidia fulvicoma 30
Actinidia giraldii 30
Actinidia glabra 30
Actinidia hemsleyana 30
Actinidia henryi 30
Actinidia holotricha 30
Actinidia hypoleuca 30
Actinidia kiusiana 30
Actinidia kolomiktaKiwi40
Actinidia kolomikta gagnepainii 30
Actinidia kwangsiensis 30
Actinidia lanceolata 30
Actinidia latifolia 30
Actinidia longicauda 30
Actinidia maloides 30
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Expert comment                                         
(Siebold.&Zucc.)Planch. ex Miq.
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[3]Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit.
A very readable book with information on about 100 species that can be grown in Britain (some in greenhouses) and details on how to grow and use them.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[74]Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR.
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[126]? The Plantsman. Vol. 6. 1984 - 1985.
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants including Actinidia and Wisteria species.
[133]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[151]Wilson. E. H. and Trollope. M. N. Corean Flora.
A very small handbook, it does give a little bit of information on Korean plants.
[160]Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987.
Fascinating reading, this is an annual publication. Some reports do seem somewhat exaggerated though.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[198]Li. H. L. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. Volume 32.
A monograph of the genus Actinidia.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs.
Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.
[219]Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[266] Flora of China
On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Hal Tue May 4 21:09:28 2004
Phylogenetic analysis has recently shown that 'Issai' is derived from a cross between a male A. arguta and a female A. rufa.
Elizabeth H.
Victor Evereklian Fri Jun 2 2006
I bought an actinidia arguta vine 4 years ago.The label said it was both male and female.This year it produced flowers that seem to bear fruit.My question is,did I buy 2 vines (male and female),or is the vine I have self-pollinating?Also,why don't I see 2 types of flowers (male and female)?The flowers on the vine seem to be all female,so how are they being pollinated?Thank you for sending me answers to these questions.Victor.
Elizabeth H.
Mo Studd Wed Jun 6 2007
I purchased an Actinidia arguta 'Issai' (miniature kiwi fruit) two years ago both years there has been a lot of blossom but no fruit set. I see from the label this is suppposed to be a self fertilising plant and it is not necessary to have a male and female. As I am not getting any fruit can anyone tell me what is wrong@ Did you actually get fruit Victor? Mo
Elizabeth H.
Sat Jun 20 2009
I have two female and 1 male plants of actinidia arguta. Female ones flowered the first year, but not the male, and I could get fruit from them. Why is this possible? I have near some actinidia deliciosa males. Could those plants pollinate the actinidia arguta? Thanks.
Elizabeth H.
Wouter Mon Jun 29 2009
Let me shed some light on the questions above. Actinidia arguta is not self pollinating, so guys, the labels are wrong. Whether this is bad intent from the person who sold them, or just unawearness of this fact, I'll leave in the middle. The female plants will produce almost seedless fruits(you can see some seed start, but they aren't actually developped) that are relatively small, even for an A. arguta. If they are pollinated, the fruits will be much larger. This knowledge comes from my personal experience with A. arguta 'Kens Red'. And if you get flowers but no fruits, sorry, but you have a male plant. Hope this sheds some light.
Elizabeth H.
Raffi Wed Jul 22 2009

Plants.am garden wiki: A. Arguta cultivation information

Elizabeth H.
John S Sun Oct 11 2009
Actually, Issai is self-fertile. The other argutas will produce a larger, more productive and stronger plant, but Issai is self producing. I grow it.
Elizabeth H.
Gaardenier Thu Dec 31 2009
In "Propagation" paragraph is written "Most seedlings are male[126]." So the problem is solved as long one is searching for males ? Can we conclude that they are easy to cultivate by anyone? I red about some males: Romeo, Rogow, Meader, aso. Suppose there are in fact in every hybrid, males and females? So what is the point really?
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