Actinidia deliciosa

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Actinidia deliciosa
Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa)

Kiwi ( Actinidia deliciosa )

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Order : Heather-like (Ericales)
Family : Actinidiaceae (Actinidiaceae)
Genre : Actinidia ( Actinidia )
Type : Actinidia deliciosa
Scientific name
Actinidia deliciosa
( A.Chev. ) CFLiang & ARFerguson
Views of the fruit

Actinidia deliciosa, in German known as kiwi, Chinese ray pen or Chinese gooseberry , is a type of ray pen that only occurs in culture. This species, especially the'Hayward' variety , provides the majority of the world's kiwi fruits .

It has only been differentiated from the Chinese ray pen ( Actinidia chinensis ) as a separate species since 1984 .


Actinidia deliciosa is a perennial, woody, liana-like, deciduous creeper . The leaves are alternate and are shaped very differently depending on the variety . They are broad to elongated, oval to heart-shaped. They are softly hairy on the underside.

This species is dioecious , which means that there are male and female flowers on separate plants. The flowers stand singly or in groups in inflorescences that arise laterally from leaf axils . The inflorescences arise on previous year's shoots. The flowers are four to five centimeters, white and fragrant.

The fruits are oval to cylindrical berries up to eight centimeters long and five centimeters wide. Sometimes they are flattened on both sides. The shell is thin and hairy like a fur. The color of the shell is green to brown depending on the variety , some rare species can also develop a pink shell. The flesh is glassy, ​​juicy and, depending on the variety, light to dark green. The fruit axis is cream-colored and fleshy. The numerous carpels appear radiantly light in cross section, with many small, dark seeds between them. The number of seeds and the size of the fruit are highly dependent on each other, which is why a good fertilization rate is important for the yield.


The name kiwi for this fruit was invented in New Zealand in 1959 for strategic market considerations and is derived from the kiwi bird. In their home country China the fruit is called 猕猴桃míhóutáo , in German "Macaque peach". Traditionally, it was not grown in China, but collected from the wild.

In North America and German-speaking countries, the fruit is mostly called "Kiwi", in contrast to most other English-speaking countries, where the fruit is called kiwi fruit ("Kiwifruit"). In German, Vogel and Frucht differ in their grammatical gender: the Kiwi (bird), the Kiwi (fruit). The use of the name "Kiwi" can lead to confusion with the residents of New Zealand, whose nickname is also "Kiwi".

The term “kiwi” was not protected, and so it was soon used for kiwis grown outside of New Zealand. The kiwifruit grown in New Zealand are now sold under the brand name Zespri by the marketing organization of the same name.


Kiwis contain around 71 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of fruit . They also contain the protein-splitting enzyme actinidain , which is destroyed when cooked. Raw kiwis do not go well with dairy products - the food becomes bitter after a few minutes if the fruits are added raw, because the enzyme in the fruit breaks down the milk protein . In the process, bitter-tasting peptides are formed , which otherwise only occur in the event of bacterial spoilage. This can be remedied by briefly steaming with a little sugar and water or juice . On the other hand, raw kiwi fruit are a good dessert for protein-rich foods, as the enzyme makes it easier for the proteins to be digested.

100 g of kiwi contain:
Calorific value water fat carbohydrates potassium Calcium magnesium vitamin C Citric acid
215-255 kJ (51-61 kcal ) 81-84 g 1.0 g 11 g 295 mg 38 mg 24 mg 71 mg 990 mg

Source: Rewe nutritional table and in the lexicon of nutrition

Daily requirement of an adult
potassium Calcium magnesium vitamin C
15% 5% 8th % 95%


The fruits originally come from southern China. Teacher Mary Isabel Fraser imported the first seeds to New Zealand from a mission in Yichang in the Yangtze Valley in January 1904. The gardener Alexander Allison planted these on his property south of Wanganui , where the plants first bore fruit on New Zealand soil in 1910. The horticultural scientist Hayward Wright first commercially bred the 'Hayward' variety from these plants, initially called Chinese gooseberries, which still make up a large part of the kiwi fruits traded today. These were first grown in the Bay of Plenty around 1950 and were soon exported to Europe and North America.

China is the world's leading producer of kiwi fruit, followed by Italy , New Zealand , Chile , Greece , France , Turkey and Iran . Kiwis are still grown in China and Taiwan . Kiwis are mainly grown there in the mountainous regions of Changjiang and Sichuan .

In Europe, the kiwi fruit from the provinces of Rome and Latina with the designation of origin Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) ital .: indicazione geografica protetta (IGP) , protected as Kiwi Latina .

Systematics and varieties

Actinidia deliciosa was not described as a separate species until 1984 , before it was considered a variety of Actinidia chinensis.

Important female varieties are 'Bruno', 'Abbott', 'Allison' and 'Monty'. The most important with around 80 percent of world production, however, is 'Hayward', which is characterized by its large fruitiness, good taste and long shelf life, while its productivity is lower than that of other varieties. The variety 'Top Star Vantini' from Italy, introduced in 1989, is the first hairless variety.

The 'Kiwi Gold' variety (trade name Zespri Gold) belongs to the Actinidia chinensis species .



  • Gunther Franke (ed.): Useful plants of the tropics and subtropics. Volume 2: Special crop production. Ulmer, Stuttgart 1994, pp. 282-288, ISBN 3-8252-1768-X .
  • Magda Bauckmann: Kiwi. Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8001-4448-4 .

Web links

Commons : Actinidia deliciosa  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Kiwi fruit  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. w³TROPICOS record of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  2. a b A.E. Korkovelos a, AG Mavromatis a, WG Huang b, M. Hagidimitriou c, A. Giakoundis d, CK Goulas a: Effectiveness of SSR molecular markers in evaluating the phylogenetic relationships among eight Actinidia species. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014 ; accessed on September 20, 2015 .
  3. ^ Wissenschaft-Online-Lexika: Entry on fruit acids in the Lexicon of Nutrition , accessed on October 9, 2008.
  4. information from Zespri
  5. ^ Production of Kiwi (fruit) by countries. UN Food & Agriculture Organization , 2014, accessed February 3, 2017 .
  6. Kiwi Latina. In: Database of Origin and Registration (DOOR). Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission , August 21, 2004 accessed on 25 April 2019 .
  7. Disciplinare dell'Indicazione Geografica Protetta Kiwi Latina. (PDF, 733 kB) Ministero delle politiche agricole alimentari e forestali, 2003, archived from the original on October 2, 2012 ; Retrieved December 3, 2012 (Italian, decree of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture).