Herb: Tara Vine

Latin name: Actinidia arguta

Synonyms: Actinidia megalocarpa, Trochostigma arguta

Family: Actinidiaceae (Chinese Gooseberry Family)

Edible parts of Tara Vine:

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use. Sweeter than A. deliciosa, the kiwi fruit, the skin is smooth and can be eaten with the fruit. The fruit contains up to 5 times the vitamin C content of blackcurrants. Highly esteemed according to one report whilst another says that they are insipid. The fruits are about 2 to 2.5cm long. They contain a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit. The plant is rich in sap and this can be tapped and drunk in the spring.

Description of the plant:


15 m
(49 feet)

to July


Habitat of the herb:

Climbing up trees in woodland at elevations of 100 - 2000 metres.

Propagation of Tara Vine:

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 November or as soon as it is received. Fresh seed germinates in 2 - 3 months at 10C, 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, so they must be kept well ventilated. Cuttings of softwood as soon as ready in spring in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very high percentage. Cuttings of ripe wood, October/November in a frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Climbing up trees in woodland at elevations of 100 - 2000 metres.

Medicinal use of Tara Vine:

None known

Known hazards of Actinidia arguta:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.