Botanical Name: Actinidia kolomikta
Species: A. kolomikta
Synonyms: Actinidia maloides H.L.Li
Common Names: Kolomikta or Variegated-leaf hardy kiwi
Habitat: Actinidia kolomikta is native to temperate mixed forests of the Russian Far East, Korea, Japan and China (Eastern Asiatic Region) It grows in coniferous woodlands and hedges in mountains throughout Japan. Mountain mixed forests in open places at elevations of 1600 – 2900 metres in China.
Actinidia kolomikta is a deciduous Climber growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a medium rate. The plant is a very long-lived, woody scrambling vine and creeper. It is the hardiest species in the genus Actinidia, at least down to about ?40 °C (?40 °F) in winter, albeit somewhat susceptible to late spring frosts. 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.
Actinidia kolomikta is cultivated in cold temperate regions as an ornamental plant, largely for the striking random variegation in pink and white of some its leaves but also because of the relatively small (2-5 g or 0.07- 0.18 ounces) kiwifruit-like berries it produces. There are a number of named cultivars bred for the latter purpose in Russia and Poland, though it takes years for a plant to start yielding, and because A. kolomikta is dioecious a male pollenizer plant is required for the wild vines and most of the cultivars.
This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. It is probably best if the seed is given 3 months stratification, either sow it in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in late autumn or as soon as it is received. 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 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. Most seedlings are male. The seedlings are subject to damping off, they must be kept well ventilated
Fruit – raw, cooked or dried for later use. Sweet and agreeable. It contains up to 5 times the vitamin C of blackcurrants. The ovoid fruit is hairless and pale orange when fully ripe and is up to 25mm in diameter. It contains a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit. Young leaves – cooked. Used as a potherb or added to soups
Medicinal Uses: . One report suggests the its Content of vitamin C in berries is 1520mg in 100grams of Actinidia kolomikta fruit.
Actinidia kolomikta is an ornamental plant for gardens and a houseplant. The plant was collected by Charles Maries in Sapporo, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, in 1878, and sent to his patrons, Veitch Nurseries, who introduced it into Western horticulture.This species has one of the largest fruits in the genus and could be important in future breeding programmes.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.