Actinidia arguta Issai - Self Fertile Mini Kiwi

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  • This kiwi has fruit the size of a gooseberry, but completely hairless it can be consumed without peeling. THIS VARIETY IS COMPLETELY SELF FERTILE, YOU ONLY NEED 1 PLANT TO FRUIT. The green fleshed, very aromatic fruit is greatly underrated. By having sweetly fragranced flowers and a good autumn coloration (yellow) it adds an ornamental value to the plant. Male and female flowers are born on different plants, so both male and female must be planted together to have fruits (there are self fertile varieties though but the main species is dioecious). The plants take 2-3 years to mature but from then on you can harvest your own kiwi. It is winter hardy, tolerating temperatures as low as -20 C. The plant develops shoots early in the spring that are sensitive to frost. However, they grow back once the frosts are gone. This species of kiwi is also an extremely vigorously growing vine, requiring a substantial supporting trellis. Despite the challenges, once one has sampled the fruit, kiwi growing seems well worth the trouble.

Other common names:   Arctic Kiwi, Mini Kiwi, Dessert Kiwi
Native to:     China
Family:     Actinidiaceae (Kiwi Family)
Habit (UK conditions):  climbing, deciduous shrub, strong grower
Max. size in 10 years:   6m x 12m in "2D" (on a large fence for example)
Main value:    fruits, flowers
Flower colour:    yellow-green, fragrant
Flowering period:   May-June
Autumn coloration:   yellow
Preferences:    fertile but free draining soil is best, full sun or half shade (it has considerable drought tolerance)
Hardiness:    hardy to at least -20C
Is it toxic?    no
Is it edible?    yes, the fruits are edible raw or processed

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