Actinidia Arguta (Actinidiaceae)
The name of the genus is derived from the Greek word aktis meaning ray. It includes some 25 species found in Asia from Sakhalin to the Himalayas. Actinidia arguta is widespread in Korea and Japan and was introduced into Europe as late as 1889 by the Spath Nurseries of Berlin. Like all actinidias it is a deciduous climbing shrub growing to a height of 12 m (40 ft). The leaves are 3.5 to 8 cm (1 ¼ to 3 in) long, broadly ovate to oval, serrate on the margin and darker on the upper side, paler below. The, which appear in June, are inconspicuous, whitish-green tinged with brown at the base, and are borne in clusters (cymes) of three or more. The fruits are greenish-yellow berries which are edible and tasty.
Actinidia arguta is propagated by means of seeds which should be sown immediately after harvesting in the autumn. If they are not sown in time they may be stratified and sown the following spring. Varieties with edible fruits are propagated by softwood cuttings. Actinidia requires a good, loamy aerated. Breeding and selection of this species have yielded forms with edible fruits that can be put to good use.
Actinidia, like any climbing plant, may be trained over walls, fences and pergolas as well as around trees. Besides the species illustrated the hardier and shorter Actinidia kolomikta is also commonly grown and is very effective beside walls. Actinidia chinensis is taller and useful for pergolas. Other species such as Actinidia purpurea, Actinidia henryii and Actinidia polygama are less important and only occasionally grown.