The kiwifruit or Chinese
Gooseberry is the fruit of a large woody vine of the genus Actinidia
(order Ericales, family Actinidiaceae) that grows in temperate
climates. It is marketed worldwide as kiwifruit but is more commonly
called kiwi in North America. The most common type of kiwifruit,
Actinidia deliciosa, is about the size of a hen's egg (about 6
cm long and 4.5 to 5.5 cm around), and is often not perfectly
round. It has a hairy, dull-brown skin that is not usually consumed.
Inside, the flesh is bright green with rows of small, black, edible
seeds. The texture of the fruit is soft and the flavour is sometimes
described as a mix of strawberry, banana, and pineapple. The fruit
gets its name from the short straight hairs on its skin, which
closely resemble the feathers of the kiwi bird of New Zealand.
History: Actinidia deliciosa is native to south-west China, and
Actinidia chinensis is very common in the lower elevations of
south-east China. Other species of Actinidia are also found in
China and range into southeastern Siberia.
from China in the early 20th century when seeds were introduced
to New Zealand by Isabel Fraser, the principal of Wanganui Girls'
College, who had been visiting mission schools in China. The seeds
were planted in 1906 by a Wanganui nurseryman, Alexander Allison,
with the vines first fruiting in 1910. People who tasted the fruit
then thought it had a gooseberry flavour and began to call it
the Chinese Gooseberry, but being from the actinidia family it
is not related to the Grossulariaceae (gooseberry) family. The
familiar Actinidia deliciosa "Hayward" cultivar was
developed by Hayward Wright in Avondale around 1924. It was initially
grown in domestic gardens, but commercial planting began in the
1940s. New Zealand is now the leading producer of kiwifruit, followed
by France, the United States, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Kiwifruit
is still produced in its birth place in China but China has never
made it to the top 10 list of kiwifruit producing countries. In
China, it is grown mainly in the mountainous area upstream of
Chang Jiang. It is also grown in other areas of China, including
Sichuan and Taiwan.
Above Pictures Are From The U.S.D.A.