The classiﬁcation of the genus Actinidia is difﬁcult and the taxonomy of some taxa is still confusing. Various studies since 1984 have estimated the genus to comprise anywhere between 54 - 76 species. The species of Actinidia are highly variable in their vegetative structures, as well as in their ﬂowers and fruits, which is the main reason for the difﬁculty in the classiﬁcation of the genus. A detailed study of the genus, based on a wide range of specimens, is needed to clarify the situation and it could be many more years of work until a natural classification system is found - Xinwei LI, Jianqiang LI, Djaja Djendoel SOEJART; Advances in the study of the systematics of Actinidia Lindley; Front. Biol. China 2009, 4(1): pp 55 - 61.
The treatment followed here is based mainly on the Flora of China[
], with some later amendments[
Actinidia arisanensis Hayata
Actinidia curvidens Dunn
Actinidia formosana (Finet & Gagnep.) Hayata
Actinidia pubescens Ridl.
Actinidia rankanensis Hayata
Actinidia remoganensis Hayata
Actinidia callosa is a vigorous, deciduous climbing shrub, producing stems up to 30 metres long that scramble over the ground and twine around the branches of other plants for support.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown for its fruit and sometimes as an ornamental in gardens[
E. Asia - central and southern China, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java).
Forests, thickets, forest margins, valleys, slopes, streamsides and moist places at elevations of 400 - 2,600 metres in China[
]. Mountain forests and forest borders at elevations of 1,000 - 2,040 metres in Malaysia[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the warm temperate to subtropical zones, entering into the tropics in Malaysia and Indonesia at elevations over 1,000 metres[
]. Mature growth should tolerate at least some frost, but young growth is susceptible to frost damage[
Prefers a sound loamy neutral soil[
]. Succeeds in semi-shade but full sun is best for fruit production[
]. Prefers a sheltered position[
Fruits are formed on second year wood and also on fruit spurs on older wood[
], any pruning is best carried out when the plant is leafless[
This is a climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around branches etc[
There are some named varieties developed for their edible fruit[
A polymorphic species, there are a number of sub-species[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A very delicate flavour[
]. An acid flavour[
]. The fruit can be dried for later use[
]. The fruits are greyish-green when fully ripe and 18 - 50mm long[
]. They contain a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit[
The wood is porous[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a nursery seedbed. Stored seed, or the seed of plants from colder latitudes, will probably germinate better if it is given 3 months cold stratification[
]. Fresh seed germinates in 2 - 3 months at 10°c, stored seed can take longer[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade. When the plants are 30cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions[
]. Most seedlings are male[
]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, they must be kept well ventilated[
Cuttings of softwood in a frame[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a frame. Very high percentage[
Cuttings of ripe wood in a frame.
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