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Kiwifruit is native to southern China, and has been declared the national fruit of that country. Other species of Actinidia are also found in China and range east to Japan and north into southeastern Siberia. The true Chinese gooseberry (A. sinensis) is native to China. Almost all kiwifruit in commerce belong to a few cultivars of Actinidia deliciosa, and those fruit that we find at local markets is grown in New Zealand. This name "kiwifruit" comes from the kiwi - a brown flightless bird and New Zealand's national symbol, and also a colloquial name for the New Zealand people.
The oblong fruits are up to 3" long. The russet-brown skin of the fruits is densely covered with short, stiff brown hairs. The flesh is firm until fully ripen; it is glistening, juicy and luscious. The color of the flesh is bright-green, or sometimes yellow, brownish or off-white, except for the white, succulent center from which radiate many fine, pale lines.
This lovely twiner with its fuzzy leaves, is ideal for trellis growing. The plant is a vigorous, woody vine (liana) or climbing shrub. Young leaves are coated with red hairs; mature leaves are dark-green and hairless on the upper surface, downy-white with prominent, light-colored veins beneath. The flowers are fragrant, dioecious or bisexual. Male and female flowers appear on different plants and both sexes have to be planted in close proximity for fruit set. Bees are normally used by commercial orchards, although the more labor intensive hand pollination is sometimes employed. Male flowers are gathered and processed to extract their pollen. This is then sprayed back on to the female flowers.
Actinidia kolomikta is an ornamental plant for gardens and a houseplant. This species needs both a male and female plant to produce its sweet, grape-sized fruit.
The plant is attractive to cats, which find it more attractive than catnip or valerian and can severely damage the vine.
Adansonia grandidieri is a deciduous tree usually growing up to 25 metres tall, though stunted plants in the south of its range are sometimes only 5 metres tall. It has a massive, cylindrical bole that can be 3 - 5 metres in diameter and serves to store water for times of drought; the bole is topped by a sparse, few-branched, flat-topped, light crown.
It provides edible fruits and oil-rich seeds as well as being a source of fibre and material for thatching. Found only in a restricted area of Madagascar, the tree is threatened by habitat destruction and, due to the low numbers of mature specimens, poor regeneration.
This tree has a unique, swollen bottle-like trunk. This deciduous tree bears large, white flowers and ball-like fruits up to 10 cm in diameter. Growth starts off quickly, then slows down. It prefers a loamy soil, and has a smooth, brown to yellowish-green bark. Tropical - but reported to make an nice indoor plant while young.
This tree has a unique, swollen bottle-like trunk. This deciduous tree bears large, red flowers and ball-like fruits.