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Actinidia kolomikta - (Maxim.&Rupr.)Maxim.

Common Name Kiwi
Family Actinidiaceae
USDA hardiness 3-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Coniferous woodlands and hedges in mountains throughout Japan[58, 126]. Mountain mixed forests in open places at elevations of 1600 - 2900 metres in China[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, E. Siberia.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Actinidia kolomikta Kiwi

(c) Jan Kola
Actinidia kolomikta Kiwi


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Bloom Color: Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer. Form: Irregular or sprawling, Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Actinidia kolomikta is a deciduous Climber growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from October to November. 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, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Kolomikta mandschurica. Regel. Trochostigma kolomikta. Rupr.

Plant Habitats

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

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use[1, 3, 105, 183]. Sweet and agreeable[1, 74]. It contains up to 5 times the vitamin C of blackcurrants[74]. The ovoid fruit is hairless and pale orange when fully ripe and is up to 25mm in diameter[266]. It contains a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit[K]. Young leaves - cooked[105, 177]. Used as a potherb or added to soups[183]. One report suggests the its Content of vitamin C in berries is 1520mg in 100grams of fruit.

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.
Vitamin C

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Arbor. Prefers a sound loamy neutral soil[11, 200]. Succeeds in semi-shade but full sun is best for fruit production[200]. Another report says that the plant prefers semi-shade[160]. Prefers a sheltered position[200]. When grown in a sunny position the leaves normally develop a strong variegation[219]. Prefers a neutral soil, plants become more variegated when they are grown in a limy soil[200]. Very cold resistant, dormant plants are hardy to at least -30°c but new growth in spring can be cut back by late frosts[74, 160, 200]. Plants grow well on a wall and can also be grown into trees[1]. Cats are very fond of this plant and can damage it by scratching it etc[1, 3, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1], there are some named varieties that have been selected for their edible fruit[183, 200]. The form most often cultivated in this country is a male and it is quite possible that all the plants grown here have been developed from a single clone[219]. Often confused with the closely related A. polygama, but it can be distinguished by its leaves which are heart-shaped at the base whilst those of A. polygama are tapered[219]. Fruits are produced on second year wood or on fruit spurs on older wood[126], any pruning is best carried out in the winter[219]. The flowers are sweetly scented[184]. This is a climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around branches etc[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 12 through 1. (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]. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is branching: a heart root, dividing from the crown into several primary roots going down and out [2-1].

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

Arctic Beauty, Kolomikta, Aktinidija, Kishmish, Manchurian gooseberry, Miyama-mata-tabi [1-4].

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Asia, Australia, Canada, China, Korea, Japan, Lithuania, North America, Russia, Slovenia, Tasmania [1-4].

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 : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

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 deliciosaKiwi FruitClimber9.0 6-9 MLMHSNM511
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 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.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

Judith Chisholm   Tue Mar 6 2007

I bought one of these plants from a nursery. It has just begun to sprout its leaves and my cat (who is nearly 13 and although in generally good health, has been vomiting iun the morning) keeps eating the Actinidia Kolomikta young leaves. I am wondering if there is something in them that is curative for my cat, and if so, what so I can find him a substitute and save my plant. Would you have any idea? Many thanks.

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Tue Mar 6 2007

As far as I am aware, the cat is being attracted by the smell of the plant - it is probably somewhat similar to certain cat pheromones. This is certainly the case in some other plants that are particularly attractive to cats, such as catmint, Nepeta cataria. There are a number of other plants that are also very attractive to cats and may serve to keep them off your Actinidia. The following list is by no means exhaustive:- Bogbean, Menyanthes trifoliata Catmint, Nepeta cataria Jacob's Ladder, Polemonium caeruleum Abcess Root, Polemonium reptans Cat's Thyme, Teucrium marum Valerian, Valeriana officinalis Valeriana sambucifolia Incidently, your Actinidia is coming into leaf very early. You say that you bought it from a nursery, so I wonder if it is still in a pot. If so, it would be a good idea not to plant it out yet, but to keep the plant in a place that is protected from frosts until late spring or early summer. This is because, although the dormant plant is quite hardy, the young shoots in spring can be damaged by even quite light frosts. If you have already planted it out, then I would advise you to try and cover the plant on nights when frost threatens - something like an old lace curtain will protect it from light frosts.

Chris   Sun Apr 8 2007

Thanks for the information. I bought one kiwi vine and kept in inside over the winter. I'm just about ready to plant it outside on a chain link fence that is covered with grape vines in the summer. I'd like the two plants to twine around one another. I expect to have another opportunity to buy a second one this summer but don't know how to tell if I have a male or female plant. If I want fruit, sounds like I'll need one of each. How can I tell them apart when they are just 6 inches tall? Thanks, Chris

Liz Bourke   Sat Jul 26 2008

I bought an Actinidia Kolomikta from a reputable nursery. I was hoping that after 2 months I would start to see the variegation beginning on the leaves from white to pink to green, but my plant is obstinately looking exactly the same as when I bought it: boring mid-green and doesn't appear to be growing taller or bushier. When I bought it, I think it would be in its first year's growth. I have fed it twice with Miracle Gro. What else can I do to encourage variegation and to make this plant happy? Thanks. Liz

Jacqueline Allsop   Sun Sep 14 2008

We bought two plants two years ago that had a few pink and white tipped leaves. The plants didnt grow in the first year and we thought they had died when the leaves fell in early september.But come springtime they started to come into bud and have grown to about eight feet tall. The leaves did not colour up and the plants are now dying back.

   Wed May 27 2009

Liz Bourke - I understand it takes about 4 years before the leaves become variegated.

jacqueline allsop   Wed Jun 17 2009

Our plants have now got variegated leaves after three years.

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