The common names for the Hardy perennial Actinidia include Chinese gooseberry and Kiwi vine.
They typically flower in the late summer to autumn, and bear the popular kiwi fruit.
Although they have the common name of Chinese Gooseberry, they are not related to the fruit of the same name.
Latin names for chinese gooseberries and related plants include Actinidia polygama, Actinidia arguta, Actinidia kiwi and Actinidia issai.
Actinidia photograph by Pizzodisevo
Where are chinese gooseberries from? Actinidia genus plants such as the kiwi Vine are mainly deciduous and originate from North east asia (they were brought to New Zealand for commercial purposes).
The vines can grow to as large as 350 to 400 cm on fences and walls. Actinidia has purple hued leaves when young, as the plant matures these change colour to be pink and white.
It is best to sow Actinidia at a depth of 1/4 cm, either singular or with a spacing of 60 to 75 cm in the spring or autumn. Actinidia plants like both sun and shade, but for best results should be grown in full sunlight; to produce vibrant colours. The soil should be well drained, humus rich, fertile and moist.
Actinidia requires between 60 and 90 days to germinate, if starting seeds off inside it is best to do so in October or November then transplant them in the early spring, whilst there is still a chance of a light frost.
The Kiwi Vine (Actinidia) requires watering in the dry days of summer, it is also necessary to supply a trellis as support for the the plant. The vines should be pruned in the spring, and tidied up when necessary.
Kiwi vine goes by many other names including, Arguta, Bower arguta, Bower actinidia, Kolomikta Vine, Silver vine, Tara vine and Yang Tao.
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