|Actinidia subsp. var.|
Actinidia (pronounced /ˌæktɨˈnɪdiə/) is a genus of woody and, with few exceptions, dioecious plants native to temperate eastern Asia. The genus includes shrubs growing to 6 m tall, and vigorous, strong-growing vines, growing up to 30 m in tree canopies.
The leaves are alternate, simple, with a dentate margin and a long petiole. The flowers are solitary or in axillary cymes, usually white, with five small petals. Most of the species are dioecious with separate male and female plants, but some are monoecious. The fruit is a large berry containing numerous small seeds; in most species the fruit is edible. In particular this genus is known for the species Actinidia deliciosa, the kiwifruit.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Actinidia (aktis, ray; referring to the radiate styles). Dilleniaceae. Climbing shrubs cultivated for their handsome foliage which is beautifully variegated in some species, and a few also for their edible fruit.
Twining shrubs: winter-buds inclosed in the swollen base of the petiole: lvs. alternate, long-stalked, senate or sometimes entire: fls. in axillary cymes sometimes solitary, dioecious or polygamous, cup-shaped, 1/2-2 in. across, white or rarely reddish; sepals 5, imbricate; petals 5, convolute; stamens numerous; ovary superior, many-celled; styles numerous, ray-like spreading: fr. a berry, with numerous small seeas.— More than 20 species, chiefly in E. Asia from Saghalin to Java, also on the Himalayas.
About 7 species are in cultivation; of these A. Kolomikta is the hardiest, growing as far north as eastern Canada; A. arguta and A. polygama are hardy in Massachusetts, while A. chinensis, which is the most beautiful of all, and A. coriacea, are hardy only south of Washington, but may be grown farther north if taken down in autumn and covered with leaves. A. arguta is excellent for covering arbors, trellises, walls and the like and is remarkably free from insects and fungi. A. Kolomikta and A. polygama show a very striking silvery white or pinkish variegation of the foliage, which is more pronounced in the staminate plant. A. arguta and A. chinensis are also worth cultivating for their edible fruits, particularly the latter, which has fruits up to 2 inches long, of a gooseberry-like flavor; to obtain fruit, it is necessary to plant both sexes or a plant with polygamous flowers. A. polygama, and, in a lesser degree, A. Kolomikta, attract cats and are often destroyed by them if not protected by screens.
The actinidias prefer somewhat moist and rich soil and grow as well in a sunny as in a half-shady position.
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Propagation is by seeds, which are sown in spring and germinate readily; also by cuttings, of half-ripened wood in summer or by hardwood cuttings under glass, and also by layersCH.
Pests and diseases
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|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
A. callosa, Lindl. Similar to A. Kolomikta. Branchleta with conspicuous lenticels, with lamellate pnl,: lvs. oval to oblong, 3-5 in. long, serrulate, quite glabrous: fls. white, 1/2 in. across: fr. ovoid, spotted, 1 in. long. China. — A. coriacea, Dunn. Allied to the preceding species. Lvs. coriaceous, oblong to lanceolate, remotely serrate, 3-4 in. long; petioles less than 1 in. long: fls. several, reddish: fr. ovoid, spotted, 1/2-3/4in- long. China. Recently offered under the name of A. Henryi, which is a totally different species, allied to A. chinensis. — A. melanandra, Franch. Allied to A. arguta. Lvs. ovate-oblong or oblong, closely serrulate: staminate corymbs many-fld. ; petals greenish at the base: fr. purple. China.CH
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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