Botanical Name: Actinidia chinensis
Common Names: Golden kiwifruit,
Actinidia chinensis is native to China. It grows in thickets and oak forests on slopes or in ravines, 200 – 2300 metres.
Actinidia chinensis is a deciduous Climber growing to 7.5 m (24ft 7in). A dioecious (individual plants are either male or female), vigorous woody vine with large, leathery heart-shaped green leaves up to 25 cm across, which turn a reddish colour in autumn.
Flowers: Creamy-white to yellow, slightly scented and up to around 5 cm across. They are produced in the leaf axils in May-June and pollinated by bees. Female plants bear fruit if pollinated. Self-fertile cultivars have been bred.
Fruits: The well-known fruit is a brown-skinned, oval berry, up to 8 cm long, covered with fine hairs. The edible flesh is bright green with numerous tiny black seeds.
Prefers a sound loamy neutral soil. Succeeds in semi-shade but full sun is best for fruit production. Prefers a sheltered position. The dormant plant is hardy to about -15°c, though new growth in spring is very susceptible to frost damage. This species is the parent of the cultivated Kiwi fruits, these cultivars are now included under the name A. deliciosa. Fruits are formed on second year wood and also on fruit spurs on older wood, any pruning is best carried out in the winter. The flowers are sweetly scented. This is a climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around branches etc. The ssp. A. chinensis setosa.(newly named, no author as yet) is found in Taiwan from 1300 – 2600m. 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 delicious flavour. The fruit is up to 3cm across. Fresh fruits contain 100 – 420mg vitamin C per 100g and 8 – 14% carbohydrate. Acidity is 1 – 2%, mainly citric acid. The fruit contains a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit. The leaves are eaten cooked in times of need as a famine food.
The fruits, stems and roots are diuretic, febrifuge and sedative. They are used in the treatment of stones in the urinary tract, rheumatoid arthralgia, cancers of the liver and oesophagus. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat mange in dogs. The stem-juice is used in the treatment of gravel.
Health Benefits of Kiwi fruit:
*Helps treat asthma.
*Boosts immune system.
*Helps prevent sickness.
*Manages blood pressure.
*Reduces blood clotting.
*Protects against vision loss.
Paper is made from the bark. If the bark is removed in one piece from near the root and placed in hot ashes, it becomes very hard and can be used as a tube for a pencil. The plant is said to have insecticidal properties.
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.