Monday, 18 August 2003


Actinidia ( /ˌæktɨˈnɪdiə/) is a genus of woody and, with few exceptions, dioecious plants native to temperate eastern Asia, occurring throughout most of China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, and extending north to southeast Siberia and south into Indochina. The genus includes shrubs growing to 6 m tall, and vigorous, strong-growing vines, growing up to 30 m in tree canopies.

The leaves are alternate, simple, with a dentate margin and a long petiole. The flowers are solitary or in axillary cymes, usually white, with five small petals. Most of the species are dioecious with separate male and female plants, but some are monoecious. The fruit is a large berry containing numerous small seeds; in most species the fruit is edible. In particular this genus is known for the species Actinidia deliciosa, the kiwifruit, and for the hardy A. kolomikta of gardens.