Kiwi: everything you need to know

The kiwi (Actinidia chinensis) is a fruit tree or climbing plant native to China and introduced to New Zealand in 1906. It is believed that its name was given to it in New Zealand due to its similarity to the bird of the same name and its plumage with different shapes. similar to the fruit of this tree.

The kiwi is a tree belonging to the actinidiaceae family that does not tolerate waterlogging, so it needs to be grown in well-drained soil. However, it is very sensitive to suffocation of its roots, so it must be a soft and loose soil. In short, the ideal soils for kiwi are sandy loam with little presence of lime and a pH between 6 and 7.

Currently, the pioneer countries in the cultivation of this tree are New Zealand, Italy, Chile, Greece and France.


The kiwi is defined as a climbing plant of woody lianas whose leaves are deciduous, long and rounded. In addition, the leaves have the presence of villi and reach a size of up to 30 cm long.

Kiwi flowers are creamy white hermaphrodites with 5 well-defined petals. Each flower has a female sexual apparatus (gynoceum) and a male sexual apparatus (androecium).

The most common way to grow kiwis is oval in shape, about 5-8 cm long and 4.5-5.5 cm in diameter. The fruit of the kiwi receives the same name as the tree and is a large ellipse-shaped berry with a dark brown external color with a fibrous skin. The inside pulp is green with small black seeds that are also edible. The fruit ripens in April. This fruit has a soft texture and a characteristic flavor.

In conclusion, it can be said that the kiwi is not a tree or plant that can survive in any terrain or climate, but rather that it does so in very specific places and, therefore, the countries that are home to the cultivation of this fruit tree know the great wealth that For them, it means the export of this fruit considered exotic, so peculiar and delicious.

kiwi story

Kiwifruit are native plants of South Asia and have been declared the national fruit of China. Other species of the genus Actinidia are native to India, Japan, and southeastern Siberia (specifically in the southern part that reaches the Pacific Ocean). Its cultivation spread from China to New Zealand in the early 20th century by Mary Isabel Fraser, president of the Wanganui Women’s College. The seeds of the Chinese kiwi were planted in 1906 and its first fruits were harvested in 1910.

New Zealand’s first commercial planting of kiwifruit was in 1937 and the fruit became popular with the New Zealand military during World War II. From 1952 they began to be exported to the United States.

kiwi names

The common name of the kiwifruit in Chinese is yáng táo, a name that often refers to the fruit of the carambola, the name of Chinese gooseberry is also used. When these fruits began to be exported from New Zealand to the United States, they were given the name of melonette (small melons) but soon that name was changed to that of the kiwi bird, which is one of the national symbols of New Zealand, since the fruit of the kiwi recalls the size and some other characteristics of this bird.

Currently in China the name for the wild or local kiwifruit varieties is the one that derives from the macaque peach (mí hóu táo). Imported kiwifruit varieties are often called wonder fruit (mí hóu táo).

kiwi cultivation

The genus kiwi has about 60 species. The shell of these species can vary in shape, size, hairiness, and color. The pulp can also vary. Some species bear inedible fruit and others are quite bitter.

The most common kiwi fruit comes from the species A. deliciosa. Other species have edible fruits such as the golden kiwi (A. chinensis), A. coriacea, A. arguta, A. kolomikta, A. melanandra, A. polygama, A. purpurea.

Almost all kiwifruit in trade belong to a few Fuzzy Kiwi (A. deliciosa) cultivars: ‘Hayward’, ‘Blake’, and ‘Saanichton 12’. The ‘Hayward’ cultivar was developed at Hayward Wright in Avondale, New Zealand around 1924.

Nutritional aspects of kiwi

Raw kiwis are rich in a protein-dissolving enzyme called actidin. Sliced ​​kiwis with whipped cream make up the typical New Zealand dessert called pavlova.

Actidine may cause allergies to some people. The fruit also contains calcium oxalate which can give some adverse symptoms.

100 grams of raw kiwi contain:

  • 61 kcalorias
  • 1.14 g of protein
  • 0.52g fat
  • 14.66g carbohydrates
  • 3.0g fiber
  • 8.99 g of sugars
  • 0.31mg iron
  • 34 mg of calcium
  • and mainly vitamin C, E and K.
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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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