Herb: Red Kiwi

Latin name: Actinidia melanandra

Synonyms: Actinidia rufa parvifolia

Family: Actinidiaceae (Chinese Gooseberry Family)

Edible parts of Red Kiwi:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is up to 3cm long. It contains a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit.

Description of the plant:


7 m
(23 feet)

to July


Habitat of the herb:

Thickets around 1800 metres in W. Hupeh, Szechwan and N. Yunnan.

Propagation of Red Kiwi:

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, 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:

Thickets around 1800 metres in W. Hupeh, Szechwan and N. Yunnan.

Medicinal use of Red Kiwi:

None known

Known hazards of Actinidia melanandra:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.