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  Kiwifruit Vine Blossoms  

NEW! Pharmacopeia of Flowers: Foods, Drinks, Health & Beauty

Kiwi Fruit (Actinidia Deliciosa) Kiwifruit Vines

Kiwi fruit (also Kiwifruit) noun (pl. same)
a fruit with a thin hairy skin, green flesh, and black seeds. Also called Chinese gooseberry.
• This fruit is obtained from the eastern Asian climbing plant Actinidia chinensis (family Actinidiaceae).

Kiwifruit Blossom
Kiwifruits, or kiwi, is an edible berry about the size of a chicken egg. It features a fuzzy peel that surrounds a green fruit with black seeds and a creamy white center. Kiwis taste slightly sweet and tangy with a creamy texture. It is available year-round in most grocery stores and is often eaten alone or as part of a salad, on fruit tarts or in smoothies.

The kiwifruit, often shortened to kiwi in many parts of the world, is the edible berry of a woody vine in the genus Actinidia. Also known as: Sunny Peach, Macaque Peach, Wonder Fruit, Macaque Pear, Vine Pear, Wood Berry, or Hairy Bush Fruit.

Kiwi actually originated in china and was called the Chinese gooseberry over there. Once New Zealand farmers began farming this fruit on a commercial basis, it got its current name of kiwi. This exotic fruit is also recognized as China's national fruit. It has green creamy flesh and tiny black seeds in the center. It usually has intense flavor and sweetness.

The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit ('Hayward') is oval, about the size of a large hen's egg (5–8 centimeters (2.0–3.1 in) in length and 4.5–5.5 centimeters (1.8–2.2 in) in diameter). It has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a sweet but unique flavor, and today is a commercial crop in several countries, such as Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece and France.

The genus Actinidia contains around 60 species. Though most kiwifruit are easily recognized as kiwifruit (due to basic shape) their fruit is quite variable. The skin of the fruit can vary in size, shape, hairiness, and color. The flesh can also vary in color, juiciness, texture, and taste. Some fruits are unpalatable while others taste considerably better than the majority of the commercial varieties.

The most common kiwifruit is the Fuzzy Kiwifruit and comes from the species Actinidia deliciosa. Other species have fruits that are commonly eaten; some examples are: Golden Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis), Chinese Egg Gooseberry (Actinidia coriacea), Baby Kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta), Arctic Kiwifruit (Actinidia kolomikta), Red Kiwifruit (Actinidia melanandra), Silver Vine (Actinidia polygama), Purple Kiwifruit (Actinidia purpurea).

Fuzzy Kiwifruit

Fuzzy KiwifruitAlmost all kiwifruit in commerce belong to a few cultivars of Fuzzy Kiwi (A. deliciosa): 'Hayward', 'Blake', and 'Saanichton 12'. They have a fuzzy, dull brown skin, and bright green flesh. The familiar cultivar 'Hayward' was developed by Hayward Wright in Avondale, New Zealand around 1924. It was initially grown in domestic gardens, but commercial planting began in the 1940s.

Hayward is the most commonly available cultivar in stores. It is a large-egg shaped fruit with a sweet flavor. Saanichton 12, from British Columbia, is somewhat more rectangular than Hayward and comparably sweet, but the inner core of the fruit can be tough. Blake has a smaller more oval fruit, and the flavor is considered inferior. The most common male pollenizer for these varietals is the Chico.

Golden Kiwifruit

The golden kiwi (A. chinensis) has a smooth bronze skin, with a beak shape at the stem attachment. Flesh color varies from bright green to a clear, intense yellow. This species is sweeter and more aromatic in flavor, the flavor reminiscent of some subtropical fruit. Its short storage life currently limits its commercial potential. One of the most attractive varieties has a red 'iris' around the center of the fruit and yellow flesh outside. The yellow fruit fetches a higher market price and, being less hairy than the fuzzy kiwi, is more palatable for fresh consumption.

A commercially viable variety of this red ringed kiwi has been patented as the EnzaRed™, and is a cultivar of the Chinese "hong yang" variety. Hort16A, marketed as Zespri® Gold, is a golden kiwifruit now marketed worldwide in increasing volumes.

Baby Kiwifruit or Hardy Kiwi

Baby Kiwifruit

The Hardy Kiwi (A. arguta) is a fast-growing, climbing vine, durable over its growing season, hence the "hardy" name. The fruits are referred to as kiwi berry, baby kiwi, dessert kiwi, grape kiwi, or cocktail kiwi and are edible, berry or grape-sized fruits similar to the fuzzy kiwi in taste and appearance, with thin smooth skin.

Different Types of Kiwifruit


Kiwifruit Cultivation

GMO Kiwis?
Kiwifruit can be grown in most temperate climates with adequate summer heat. Where fuzzy kiwi (A. deliciosa) are not hardy, other species can be grown as substitutes. Kiwifruit is commercially grown on sturdy support structures, as it can produce several tonnes per hectare, more than the rather weak vines can support. These are generally equipped with a watering system for irrigation and frost protection in the spring. Kiwifruit vines require vigorous pruning, similar to that of grapevines. Fruit is borne on one-year-old and older canes, but production declines as each cane ages. Canes should be pruned off and replaced after their third year.

Cultivation of kiwi plants is restricted to regions with subtropical climates. For many years, the leading producers have been Italy, New Zealand, Chile, France, Greece, Japan and the USA. In 2005, around 1.15 million tons of kiwis were produced on approximately 68000 hectares.

3 applications of GMO Kiwifruit were field tested in Italy in 1998
for "fungal resistance", and "increased root formation"

female kiwi Male Kiwi
kiwi female flowers kiwi male flowers

Ripening Kiwifruit  Ripening Kiwifruit

Firm kiwifruit ripen after a few days to a week when stored at room temperature, but should not be kept in direct sunlight. Faster ripening occurs when placed in a paper bag with an apple, pear, or banana. Once a kiwifruit is ripe, however, it is preserved optimally when stored far from other fruits, as it is very sensitive to the ethylene gas they may emit, thereby tending to over-ripen even in the refrigerator. If stored appropriately, ripe kiwifruit normally keep for about one to two weeks.

When selecting kiwifruits, hold them between your thumb and forefinger and gently apply pressure; those that have the sweetest taste will yield gently to pressure. Avoid those that are very soft, shriveled or have bruised or damp spots. As size is not related to the fruit's quality, choose a kiwifruit based upon your personal preference or recipe need. Kiwifruits are usually available throughout most of the year.

Fresh Kiwi
If kiwifruits do not yield when you gently apply pressure with your thumb and forefinger, they are not yet ready to be consumed since they will not have reached the peak of their sweetness. Kiwifruits can be left to ripen for a few days to a week at room temperature, away from exposure to sunlight or heat. Placing the fruits in a paper bag with an apple, banana or pear will help to speed their ripening process. Ripe kiwifruits can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Research conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria suggests that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase.

Key to the process is the change in color that occurs as fruits ripen, a similar process to that seen in the fall when leaves turn from green to red to yellow to brown - a color change caused by the breakdown and disappearance of chlorophyll, which gives leaves and fruits their green color.

Red Kiwi, Green Kiwi, and Gold Kiwi

Kiwifruit Foods

Kiwi fruits are rich in many Vitamins, flavonoids and minerals. In particular, they contain a high amount of Vitamin C (more than oranges), as much potassium as bananas and a good amount of beta-carotene.

Raw kiwifruit is rich in the protein-dissolving enzyme actinidain (in the same family of thiol proteases as papain), which is commercially useful as a meat tenderizer. Actinidain also makes raw kiwifruit unsuitable for use in desserts containing milk or any other dairy products which are not going to be served within hours, because the enzyme soon begins to digest milk proteins. This applies to gelatin-based desserts as well, as the actinidain will dissolve the collagen proteins in gelatin very quickly, either liquifying the dessert, or preventing it from solidifying.

To overcome this effect, the United States Department of Agriculture suggests cooking the fruit for a few minutes before adding it to gelatin. Sliced kiwifruit has long been regularly used as a garnish atop whipped cream on the common New Zealand and Australian dessert, the pavlova. It can also be used in a variety of other savoury and sweet dishes.

Kiwi fruit can be enjoyed in smoothies, sprinkled into your morning yogurt, mixed into fruit salad, or eaten plain. For a few more creative ideas to incorporate kiwis into your daily meals, check out the ideas below:

  • Kiwifruit are so delicious, they can be eaten raw as is.
  • One of our favorite ways to eat kiwi is to peel with a paring knife and slice.
  • Add kiwifruit to tossed green salads.
  • Serve sliced kiwifruit and strawberries,
    fruits whose flavors are naturally complementary, topped with yogurt.
  • Mix sliced kiwifruit, orange and pineapple together to make chutney
    that can be served as an accompaniment to chicken or fish.
  • Blend kiwifruit and cantaloupe in a food processor to make a chilled soup.
    For a creamier consistency, blend yogurt in with the fruit mixture.
  • Kiwifruit have a wonderful flavor and appearance for use in fruit tarts.
  • Make a "fruit pizza" out of graham crackers and a creamy topping
    (almond butter, honey, ricotta cheese) and sprinkle chopped kiwi on top.
  • Involve your kids and make fruit kabobs with kiwi as the star
    (Make sure to use blunt end skewers so the little ones don’t hurt themselves!).
  • Incorporate kiwi into a citrusy jam or Kiwi jelly.
  • Rub Kiwifruit on meat for an all-natural meat tenderizer!
    (the kiwi contains enzymes that aid in breaking down protein).

Kiwifruit Skin

Can I Eat the Kiwifruit Skin?

You can eat the skin, but wash carefully to remove unwanted pesticides! Rub it a bit to minimize the fuzz. The skin actually provides more fiber to your sweet snack. If you’re not fond of the fuzzy exterior, simply "sloop" it out by slicing the kiwi in half horizontally and spooning out each side to enjoy.


Kiwifruit Drinks & Beverages

The kiwi smoothie is sure to give your taste buds a wake-up call, as it imbibes the true flavours of the tangy kiwi fruit. This drink is to be consumed immediately as it might turn bitter in the course of time.

Kiwi Smoothie
Kiwi Smoothie


  • 2 cups chilled , peeled and roughly chopped kiwi
  • 4 tbsp chilled fresh curds (dahi)
  • 1 cup vanilla ice-cream
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 kiwi slices as a Garnish
  1. Combine the curds, vanilla ice-cream, kiwi and sugar and blend in a juicer till the mixture is smooth and frothy.
  2. Pour equal quantities of the smoothie into 2 individual glasses.
  3. Serve immediately garnished with a kiwi slice on the rim of each glass.


Honeydew Kiwi CoolersHoneydew Kiwi Coolers

Ingredients for 4-5 glasses:

  • 3 cups cubed Honeydew
  • 2 Kiwi fruit, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp simple sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes

How to make simple sugar:

  1. In a pan, combine water and sugar, should be sand consistency.
  2. In a medium fire, let it simmer for 5 minutes. Do not mix.
  3. When the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has a clear consistency, the syrup is already done.

Directions: In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until blended.
Pour into chilled glasses. Serve immediately.


Green Tea-Kiwi & Mango Smoothie


Green Tea-Kiwi and Mango Smoothie
  • 2-1/2 cups mango (frozen diced)
  • 3/4 cups fat free vanilla yogurt (divided)
  • 1/4 cup honey (divided)
  • 2 tbsps water
  • 1/2 tsp lime rind (grated)
  • 3 kiwifruit (ripe, peeled and quartered)
  • 2 cups ice (cubes)
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach (packed)
  • 2 tbsps green tea (bottled)
  • 1 slice kiwifruit (optional)
  1. Place mango, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons water, and lime rind in a blender; process until smooth, stirring occasionally.
  2. Divide mango mixture into each of 4 serving glasses; place glasses in freezer.
  3. Rinse blender container.
  4. Place 1/4 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, kiwifruit, and next 3 ingredients in blender; process until smooth, stirring occasionally.
  5. Gently spoon green tea-kiwi mixture onto mango mixture in reserved glasses, working carefully around inside of each glass to create a clean horizontal line.
  6. Garnish with kiwifruit slices, and stir to combine flavors, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately.


Strawberry-Kiwi Smoothie


Strawberry-Kiwi Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or skim)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (chopped)
  • 2 kiwis (chopped)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to blender and puree until smooth. Garnish with additional strawberries and kiwi.


Kiwi-Orange-Mango JuiceKiwi-Orange-Mango Juice
by Rachael Ray


  • 4 kiwis (large, peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 2 mangos (large, peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 pt orange juice

Using a blender, puree the kiwis, mangos and orange juice.
Pour into a pitcher, add 3 cups cold water and stir.


Kiwi SodaKiwi Soda Recipe

  • 2 kiwis (ripe, peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 lime juice
  • 4 tbsps agave nectar
  • ice
  • seltzer water (cold, club soda)

Place the kiwis and lime juice in a blender and process until smooth. Divide the kiwi mixture between 2 tall glasses (you will use about 1/3 cup purée per drink) and mix 2 tablespoons of the agave nectar into each with a long spoon. Add ice and top with the seltzer. Stir gently and serve.

USDA Nutrient Database on Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit Health Benefits

From disease prevention to an abundance of vitamins and minerals, the kiwi provides a wide array of nutrition benefits. According to a study at Rutgers University, the kiwi is the most nutrient-dense fruit, ounce for ounce. Kiwis are one of the most vitamin-rich fruits with 100 g fruit containing ca. 80 mg vitamin C. In addition, kiwi seeds are rich in omega fatty acids, valued for their health-promoting effects.

Wenneker Kiwi AlcoholKiwifruit is a rich source of Vitamin C (1.5 times the United States DRI per 100 grams) and Vitamin K, and a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin E. The fruit and skin contain flavonoids, actinidain, and adhered pollen, which may produce irritation in the mouth and throat of some allergic individuals.

Kiwifruit emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of vitamin C. This nutrient is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, neutralizing free radicals that can cause damage to cells and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. In fact, adequate intake of vitamin C has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma, and for preventing conditions such as colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease. And since vitamin C is necessary for the healthy function of the immune system, it may be useful for preventing recurrent ear infections in people who suffer from them. Owing to the multitude of vitamin C's health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Kiwifruit seed oil contains on average 62% alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Usually a medium size kiwifruit provides about 46 calories, 0.3 g fat, 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, and 2.6 g dietary fiber found partly in the edible skin. Kiwifruit is often reported to have mild laxative effects, due to its significant levels of dietary fiber.

Kiwifruit contains carotenoids, such as provitamin A beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Kiwifruit components, possibly involving vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids from its numerous edible seeds, have potential properties of a natural blood thinner. A study performed at the University of Oslo in Norway reported that consuming two to three kiwifruit daily for 28 days significantly reduced platelet aggregation and blood triglyceride levels (similar to popular mainstream aspirin therapy), potentially reducing the risk of blood clots.

NZ Natural JuiceResearchers exploring the potential positive features of the kiwi fruit have conducted several studies involving children and adults. A study in Italy indicated that children had less trouble with wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing in the night when they consumed 5-7 servings of kiwi or citrus fruit a week. Asthma sufferers were found to derive the most benefit from the kiwi, even when eaten as few as 1-2 times a week. Adults can also benefit from eating the jewel-toned fruit! Another study demonstrated that eating 2-3 kiwi fruits a day can reduce the potential for blood clots and decrease triglycerides. Yet another study cited the kiwi’s ability to protect and repair the body from DNA damage, which could protect against cancer.

In the world of phytonutrient research, kiwifruit has fascinated researchers for its ability to protect DNA in the nucleus of human cells from oxygen-related damage. Researchers are not yet certain which compounds in kiwi give it this protective antioxidant capacity, but they are sure that this healing property is not limited to those nutrients most commonly associated with kiwifruit, including its vitamin C or beta-carotene content. Since kiwi contains a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids that have demonstrated antioxidant activity, these phytonutrients in kiwi may be responsible for this DNA protection.

Iced Kiwi DrinksPremier Antioxidant Protection

Kiwifruit emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of vitamin C. This nutrient is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, neutralizing free radicals that can cause damage to cells and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. In fact, adequate intake of vitamin C has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma, and for preventing conditions such as colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease. And since vitamin C is necessary for the healthy function of the immune system, it may be useful for preventing recurrent ear infections in people who suffer from them. Owing to the multitude of vitamin C's health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Fiber for Blood Sugar Control
Plus Cardiovascular and Colon Health

Our food ranking system also qualified kiwifruit as a very good source of dietary fiber. The fiber in kiwifruit has also been shown to be useful for a number of conditions. Researchers have found that diets that contain plenty of fiber can reduce high cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Fiber is also good for binding and removing toxins from the colon, which is helpful for preventing colon cancer. In addition, fiber-rich foods, like kiwifruit, are good for keeping the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients under control.

Kiwifruit also passed our food ranking test as a good source of the mineral potassium.

Protection against Asthma

Eating vitamin C-rich fruit such as kiwi may confer a significant protective effect against respiratory symptoms associated with asthma such as wheezing.

A study published in Thorax that followed over 18,000 children aged 6-7 years living in Central and Northern Italy found that those eating the most citrus and kiwifruit (5-7 servings per week) had 44% less incidence of wheezing compared to children eating the least (less than once a week). Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%, severe wheeze by 41%, night time cough by 27%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%.

Children who had asthma when the study began appeared to benefit the most, and protective effects were evident even among children who ate fruit only once or twice a week.

Rive's Kiwi TropicProtection against Macular Degeneration

Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Opthamology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

In this study, which involved over 110,000 women and men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants' consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARMD, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. Food intake information was collected periodically for up to 18 years for women and 12 years for men. While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARM, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but kiwifruit can help you reach this goal. Slice kiwi over your morning cereal, lunch time yogurt or green salads. For a more elegant meal, decorate any fish dish or fruit salad with kiwi slices.

A Delicious Way to Enjoy Cardiovascular Health

Enjoying just a couple of kiwifruit each day may significantly lower your risk for blood clots and reduce the amount of fats (triglycerides) in your blood, therefore helping to protect cardiovascular health.

Unlike aspirin, which also helps to reduce blood clotting but has side effects such as inflammation and bleeding in the intestinal tract, the effects of regular kiwi consumption are all beneficial. Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, and polyphenols, and a good source of potassium, all of which may function individually or in concert to protect the blood vessels and heart. In one study, human volunteers who ate 2 to 3 kiwifruit per day for 28 days reduced their platelet aggregation response (potential for blood clot formation) by 18% compared to controls eating no kiwi. In addition, kiwi eaters' triglycerides (blood fats) dropped by 15% compared to controls.

Disease Prevention from Kiwifruit

  • Fiber: Kiwi provides 16% of the RDA for fiber and has a role in the prevention of constipation and some cancers.
  • Phytonutrients: Kiwis have phytonutrients, which repair DNA, act as the body’s protection against some cancers, and function as antioxidants. Learn more about phytonutrients plant powers.
  • Prevents asthma and other respiratory diseases

Vitamins in Kiwifruit

  • Folic Acid: Kiwi provides 10% of the RDA for folic acid,
    which is important for expectant mothers and works to produce red blood cells.
  • Vitamin C: One serving of kiwi gives the body 230% of the RDA for Vitamin C,
    which helps heal wounds, increase iron absorption, and boost the immune system.
  • Vitamin E: Kiwi provides 10% RDA for Vitamin E and decreases the risk of heart disease.

Minerals in Kiwifruit

  • Calcium: Kiwi provides 5.5% of the RDA for Calcium.
  • Chromium: Kiwi aids in regulating heartbeats.
  • Copper: Kiwi provides 8% of the RDA for Copper.
  • Iron: Kiwi provides 4% of the RDA for Iron.
  • Magnesium: Kiwi provides 6% of the RDA for Magnesium, which can enhance your energy level.
  • Potassium: Kiwi aids in fluid maintenance.
  • Zinc: Kiwi helps keep hair, skin, teeth, and nails healthy.

Kiwifruit Allergies

The actinidain found in kiwifruit can be an allergen for some individuals. Specifically, people allergic to latex, bananas, papayas, or pineapples are likely to also be allergic to kiwifruit. The fruit also contains calcium oxalate crystals in the form of raphides. Reactions to these chemicals include sweating, tingling and sore mouth or throat; swelling of the lips, tongue and face; rash; vomiting and abdominal pain, heartburn; and, in the most severe cases, breathing difficulties, wheezing and collapse. The most common symptoms are unpleasant itching and soreness of the mouth, with the most common severe symptom being wheezing. Severe symptoms are most likely to occur in young children.


Kiwifruit in International Cultures

Kiwifruit exports rapidly increased from the late 1960s to early 1970s in New Zealand. By 1976, the amount of Kiwifruit exports exceeded the amount consumed domestically. Outside of Australasia, all New Zealand kiwifruits are now marketed under the brand-name label Zespri.

Over 70% of kiwi production is in Italy, New Zealand, and Chile. Italy produces roughly 10% more kiwifruit than New Zealand, and Chile produces 40% less. With these three main production centers kiwifruit is produced for worldwide consumption roughly all year long.

Among the exporters was the prominent produce company Turners and Growers, who were calling the berries melonettes, because the local name for the fruit, Chinese gooseberry, had political connotations due to the Cold War, and to further distinguish it from real gooseberries, which are prone to a fungus called anthracnose. An American importer, Norman Sondag of San Francisco, complained that melonettes was as bad as Chinese gooseberry because melons and berries were both subject to high import tariffs, and instead asked for a short Maori name that quickly connoted New Zealand. In June 1959, during a meeting of Turners and Growers management in Auckland, Jack Turner suggested the name kiwifruit which was adopted and later became the industry-wide name. In the 1960s and 1970s, Frieda Caplan, founder of Los Angeles-based Frieda's Finest (aka Frieda's Inc./Frieda's Specialty Produce) played a key role in popularising kiwifruit in the United States, convincing supermarket produce managers to carry the odd-looking fruit.

Different types of Kiwifruit Blossoms

Kiwifruit Vine Ancestors

Kiwifruit is native to southern China where it has been declared a National Fruit of China. Other species of Actinidia are native to India, Japan, and southeastern Siberia. Cultivation of the fuzzy kiwifruit spread from China in the early 20th century, when seeds were introduced to New Zealand by Mary Isabel Fraser, the principal of Wanganui Girls' College, who had been visiting mission schools in Yichang, China. The seeds were planted in 1906 by a Wanganui nurseryman, Alexander Allison, with the vines first fruiting in 1910.

The first commercial planting of Chinese gooseberries occurred in 1937 in New Zealand by the orchardist Jim MacLoughlin. The fruit proved popular with American servicemen in New Zealand during World War II. In 1952 MacLoughlin partnered with the New Zealand Fruit Federation to market and export the fruit in the United States market. Thanks to pioneering research into the transportability of the fruit by John Pilkington Hudson and others at the agriculture department in Wellington this was the first international export of the Kiwifruit.

As the local popularity of this fruit increased, New Zealanders discarded the local Chinese name for the fruit (yáng táo[a]) in favor of the name Chinese Gooseberry. To avoid associating the fruit with China after WWII, it was internationaly marketed under the name "Melonette" first, and finally under the name "kiwifruit" after the kiwi, New Zealand’s national symbol, as the bird and the fruit share a similar appearance (small, brown and furry). The name Kiwifruit was a global brand name for the fuzzy kiwi, but was never registered as an international trademark. Kiwifruit has since become a common name for all commercially grown fruit from the family Actinidia.

In Chinese, the current word for most wild or local varieties of the kiwifruit is the Macaque peach. The imported varieties are often referred to as wonder fruit (qí yì guǒ) as qí yì (wonder) sounds similar to kiwi. See the table below for other Chinese words for kiwifruit.

Kiwifruit vines in France
Honeybee on a kiwi flower
Kiwi Blossom
Blossoming Kiwifruit Female Flowers
Blossoming Kiwifruit Female Vines
Kiwifruit Actinidia deliciosa plantation
Kiwifruit trees
Ripe kiwis
kiwifruit bunch
fresh kiwifruit
Kiwi Actinidia chinensis
sliced kiwifruit
Red kiwifruit slices
Mango Kiwi salsa
Hurry up before your kids start to think Kiwifruit comes from a bottle...



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