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Actinidia deliciosa - (A.Chev.)C.F.Liang.& A.R.Ferguson.

Common Name Kiwi Fruit
Family Actinidiaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Derived in cultivation from A. chinensis, it is not known in a truly wild situation.
Range E. Asia - China
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Actinidia deliciosa Kiwi Fruit

(c) ken Fern, Plants For A Future 2010
Actinidia deliciosa Kiwi Fruit
(c) ken Fern, Plants For A Future 2010


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Actinidia deliciosa is a deciduous Climber growing to 9 m (29ft 6in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from October to December. The species is 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 is pollinated by Bees, insects. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


A. chinensis. Hort. non Planch.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked. A delicious flavour[1, 2, 3, 11, 105], the fruit can be up to 8cm long, it is very juicy when fully ripe and has a refreshing, acid flavour[K]. It contains a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit[K]. Rich in vitamin C[183]. Fresh fruits contain 100 - 420mg vitamin C per 100g and 8 - 14% carbohydrate[218]. Acidity is 1 - 2%, mainly citric acid[218]. The fruit ripens in November and can store for 3 - 4 months[132]. Yields of 8 - 30 tonnes per hectare are possible[218]. Leaves are a famine food[179].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.
Diuretic  Febrifuge  Sedative  Urinary  Vitamin C

The fruits, stems and roots are diuretic, febrifuge and sedative[147]. They are used in the treatment of stones in the urinary tract, rheumatoid arthralgia, cancers of the liver and oesophagus[147].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Paper  Pencil

Paper is made from the bark[178]. If the bark is removed in one piece from near the root and placed in hot ashes, it becomes very hard and can be used as a tube for a pencil[178].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a sound loamy acid soil, it dislikes alkaline soils and becomes chlorotic at pH 6 or higher[11]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.5 to 7.3. Succeeds in semi-shade but full sun is best for fruit production[3, 126, 200]. Prefers a sheltered position[200]. Does well when grown into trees[K]. Plants requires a 6 - 8 month frost-free growing season[160, 200]. They are hardy to about -12°c when fully dormant but young growth is very subject to damage by late frosts, being killed back at -2°c[160, 200]. Plants also require a winter chilling of 600 - 1100 hours below 7°c and a long warm summer to ripen the fruit[200]. Plants fruit on second year wood or on fruit spurs produced on older wood[126], any pruning is best carried out in the winter[219]. The flowers are sweetly scented[245]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is widely cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties[183, 200]. The fruit can store for up to 9 months at 0°c with a relative humidity of 90%, but under domestic conditions 4 - 6 weeks is optimal[200]. This is a rampant climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around branches etc[200]. Plants have been seen with very good crops of fruit at the Hillier Arboretum in Hampshire in several autumns. These plants had outgrown their planned supports and had climbed 15 metres into neighbouring trees. The main problem with them would be how to harvest the fruit[K]. The female 'Heywood' is the most commonly cultivated form in Britain (1993), its fruits store well but it tends to flower late and there can be problems with pollination[126]. The cultivar 'Blake' is said to be fast cropping and self-fertile[200]. The male 'Tomurii' is free-flowering and disease-resistant[202]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Plants are usually dioecious, but hermaphrodite forms are known. However, the fruit quality and yield of these hermaphrodite forms is usually inferior[11]. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required, one male to five or six females is normally adequate. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 7. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. Woody. Growth habit is a single or multiple shooting vine from a crown [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

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, 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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Delicious donkey fruit, Kivi, Meiwei Mihoutao [1-4].

TEMPERATE ASIA: Fujian Sheng, Hubei Sheng, Jiangxi Sheng, Sichuan Sheng,[Zhejiang Sheng.

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
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Actinidia argutaTara VineClimber15.0 4-8  LMHSNM502
Actinidia arguta cordifolia Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM40 
Actinidia arguta rufa Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM40 
Actinidia arisanensis Climber5.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia asymmetrica Climber5.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia callosa Climber9.0 6-9  LMHSNM301
Actinidia callosa formosana Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia callosa henryi Climber7.0 7-10  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia callosa indochinensis Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia callosa pubescens Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia chinensisKiwiClimber7.5 6-9  LMHSNM422
Actinidia coriacea Climber8.0 5-9  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia eriantha Climber10.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia fortunatii Climber10.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia fulvicoma Climber10.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia giraldii Climber10.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia glabra Climber13.5 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia hemsleyana Climber9.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia henryi Climber15.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia holotricha Climber5.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia hypoleuca Climber5.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia kiusiana Climber5.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia kolomiktaKiwiClimber10.0 3-8 MLMHSNM400
Actinidia kolomikta gagnepainii Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia kwangsiensis Climber3.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia lanceolata Climber20.0 5-9  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia latifolia Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia longicauda Climber7.0 -  LMHSNM30 
Actinidia maloides Climber6.0 -  LMHSNM30 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(A.Chev.)C.F.Liang.& A.R.Ferguson.

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

kris   Mon Jul 28 20:24:57 2003

This is good information,thank you. Where can I get information about the Guanabano plant used for cancer treatment? Please answer to [email protected].

   Sat Aug 5 2006

will it grow in the northern US

Kurt Liebezeit   Thu Mar 15 2007

Young, tender kiwi plants are more susceptible to frost damage than an older kiwi plant. A late spring frost is the most dangerous for an older plant; you probably don't need to protect the main stem, but wrap the most tender shoots in a blanket or other thermal covering when a late frost is likely.

   Thu May 24 2007

I grew my kiwi vine from a slice of the fruit purchased at a supermarket. It is really rampant , grpwomg up into a neighbouring maple tree and spreading over into my next door neighbours garden.This year it is full of flower buds. We have had fruit from it for several years; not too ripe! This year the vines are smothered in bud. I am hoping for really delecious fruit!Mrs/M.E.Wingrovw. Thursday 24th May 2007.

Chris Taylor   Wed Oct 17 2007

best variety to grow as building cover, all year round,fruit not necessary, in SE England? Clay soil, sun and shade, good ground prep intended.Any varieties wihich keep leafs longer?

Marlene Prescott   Tue Jul 8 2008

I have one small Actinidia deliciosa planted in a somewhat shady location. As of this date, I don't have a proper trellis for it to grow on. I also have another kiwi which I planted about 12 years ago. It lost its mate when it was very young to frost. Know I don't know what sex it is. I think it is a male but I am only guessing. The actinidia deliciosa I recently planted has a tag on it stating that it is a female. I am wondering if the earlier one is a male whether I will ever get them to mate and bear fruit. I suppose it is best if I go out and purchase another Actinidia deliciosa. How close together do the plants need to be? I am on Vancouver Island. Can you suggest a nursery where I might get the Saanichton variety. Thank you for your assistance. Marlene

Rebecca   Sat Feb 21 2009

This is great overview on US varietals and cultivation: extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/pnw/pnw507.pdf

Raffi   Wed Jul 22 2009

Plants.am gardening wiki: Kiwi cultivation page

d. mangan   Tue Oct 20 2009

my neighbour has a actinidia growing up against my wall could this cause structial damage or damp?

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