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Kiwi (Hardy) ‘Issai’

Hardy Kiwi
Actinidiaceae
Deciduous, Edible fruit, Vines

KIWI

From east Asia, hardy kiwi vines look much like the vines of conventional, egg-size kiwis, but have smaller leaves (which are smooth and fuzzless) and flowers. When there is a male pollinator nearby, female varieties produce fuzzless, green or burgundy-hued fruit that is the size of large grapes. You eat it skin and all.

‘Issai’

Likely a hybrid between Actinidia arguta and Actinidia polygama, this variety stands out because it is self-fruitful (you don't need to plant a pollinator nearby). It grows 15 to 20 ft. long. Leaves are rounded, 5-in. long. Fruits are the size of medium round grapes, and have a pointed blossom end (like a persimmon), maturing to green in October. You discern ripeness by feel; fruits are edible (including skins and seeds) when they're date-soft and sweet.

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