Description: Climbing shrubs to woody climbers, dioecious, hairy; indumentum of stellate or simple hairs; branches with often lamellate (segmented) pith, usually with longitudinally linear lenticels.
Leaves often long-petiolate; stipules minute, obsolete or absent; lamina membranous, papery; margin serrate or dentate; venation penniveined, the veinlets reticulate.
Inflorescences cymose, axillary, often pseudo-umbellate, few- or many-flowered; bracts minute. Flowers bisexual, white, pink, reddish, yellow or green. Sepals usually 5, distinct or connate at base, imbricate, rarely valvate, persistent or not. Petals (4) 5 or rarely more, imbricate. Stamens numerous; anthers yellow, brown, purple or black, versatile, attached at middle. Disc absent. Ovary ovoid, cylindrical or bottle-shaped, glabrous or hairy, many-loculed; styles as many as carpels, 15–30.
Fruit a berry, globose, ovoid or obloid, sometimes spotted with lenticels, glabrous or hairy. Seeds numerous, oblong, small, embedded in pulp.
Distribution and occurrence: About 60 or more species in Eastern and Southern Asia; 1 species naturalised in Australia.
Includes the economically significant Actinidia chinensis which produces the edible Kiwifruit or Chinese Gooseberry.
Text by R.L. Barrett, Aug. 2021
Taxon concept: Fl. of China (2007)
|One species in NSW: Actinidia chinensis|