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Actinidia deliciosa (kiwi fruit)

Although native to China, it was commercialisation of this climber in New Zealand (and clever marketing under the name kiwi fruit) that made it the popular and widespread fruit it is today.
Kiwi fruits hanging from the vine

Actinidia deliciosa fruits (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Actinidia deliciosa (A.Chev.) C.F.Liang & A.R.Ferguson

Common name: 

kiwi fruit, Chinese gooseberry

Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Mountain forests.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental, edible fruits, medicine.

Known hazards: 

Hairs of fruits can cause throat irritation if ingested, and fruits contain actinidin, an enzyme that can also be irritant.


Genus: Actinidia

About this species

This attractive climber is grown in temperate gardens for its large heart-shaped leaves and creamy-white, scented flowers, but throughout much of the world it is better known as a commercial fruit.

The species was considered to be a variety of Actinidia latifolia, namely A. latifolia var. deliciosa when first described in 1940 by the French botanist Auguste Jean Baptiste Chevalier (1873–1956). It achieved full species status in 1984 when Liang and Ferguson published the name Actinidia deliciosa. It is sometimes referred to as a variety of A. chinensis, a related species in which the fruits lose their hairs as they mature. Another wild relative, A. kolomikta, also has edible fruits.


Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa, Actinidia chinensis var. hispida, Actinidia latifolia var. deliciosa


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