Bower actinidia, an Asian vine and a close relative of the kiwi fruit (Actinidia chinensis), grows right to the top of lofty trees in its native land. In North America, where it is mostly grown on trellises and pergolas, it is much more controlled.
: The bower actinidia is a tough, vigorous twining shrub with woody stems and broadly ovate, sharply-toothed green leaves with little fall coloration. It produces abundant fragrant white flowers in early summer, usually mostly hidden by the leaves. The greenish yellow berries, about 1 inch long, are edible.
: Full sun or partial shade and average to poor soil are suitable. It can be pruned at any time. Most bower actinidias bear either male or female flowers, although a few selected clones bear both types. If fruit is desired, either choose a bisexual clone or plant a male and a female on the same support.
: This vine is grown for the fast cover it provides on trellises, arbors, and other structures. It has little ornamental value other than its green leaves. It can also grow on trees.
related species: The Kolomikta actinidia (Actinidia kolomikta) is becoming increasingly popular, especially the male clones, which have leaves whose bottom half is splashed pink and silvery white. It would appear that most plants in culture are male, so it is unlikely most gardeners will be able to grow it for its edible berries.
elated varieties: Issai is a self-fertile selection.
: Actinidia arguta
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- Planting Vines