Actinidia (Kiwifruit genus)
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> Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Order: Ericales > Family: Actinidiaceae
About 57 species, native to temperate eastern Asia, including
southeastern Siberia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Indochina. Three species
are cultivated in southern Africa, including
Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa).
Species cultivated in southern Africa
List from Glen (2002).
Native to the
hills of southwestern China. Kiwifruit only came under cultivation in the
20th Century. Although it is native to China, it was New Zealand that pioneered
its cultivation. Actinidia deliciosa was previously considered a
synonym of Actinidia chinensis.
Similar to Actinidia deliciosa but
it has smaller, more rounded fruit and soft fur. Its indigenous distribution
is in the low-lying southeastern region of China.
|Actinidia arguta (Hardy Kiwi, Arguta, Baby Kiwi
or Grape Kiwi)
Plants are able to withstand colder temperatures than those
of A. chinensis. Skins are green and smooth and can be eaten; fruit
are smaller than those of Kiwi Fruit.
The following species are also cultivated for their fruit
but I am not sure whether they have been cultivated in southern Africa: Actinidia kolomikta (Kolomicta or Arctic
Beauty) and Actinidia polygama (Silver Vine).
Sauer, J.D. 1993. Historical geography of
crop plants - a select roster. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.
van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World -
Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.