Hardy Kiwi develops whitish-green flowers in mid-summer and its leaves have red petioles (stems). Photo by Q Qwert, Bugwood.org.
COMMON NAME:Hardy Kiwi
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Actinidia arguta
DESCRIPTION:Hardy kiwi is a deciduous woody vine that can grow up to 20 feet per year. The bark is brown with lenticels and distinctive leaf bud scars. The shiny leaves are oval, alternate, sharply serrate and remain green late into autumn. Fragrant whitish-green flowers with purple anthers bloom around mid-summer. Hardy kiwi produces green, grape-sized fruits with many seeds and little flavor.
HABITAT:Hardy kiwi prefers disturbed habitats and forest edges. This species can tolerate any environment from full sun to full shade.
THREAT:Hardy kiwi readily germinates under a closed canopy and can climb up and smother surrounding vegetation. This growth pattern allows it to crowd out native vegetation and reduce biodiversity. Additional weight from the vines breaks tree branches which causes safety concerns and endangers infrastructure.
Small hardy kiwi vines can be hand pulled whereas larger plants require herbicide. Foliar spraying or cut-stump treatments are effective herbicide techniques. After cutting the stump, leave the vine intact to prevent damage to the tree.
WNY PRISM PRIORITY:
Tier 2 - Eradication
American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)
NYS Prohibited and Regulated Species - Part 575:
PATHWAYS OF INVASION:
Hardy kiwi is sold commercially and can be cultivated as an alternative crop vine in the northeast. Its cultivation creates the potential for it to escape cultivation and disrupt natural areas. Raccoons and large birds (Wild Turkey and Ruffed Grouse) eat the fruits and disperse the seeds.
The only known reports of hardy kiwi in NYS are within the Long Island, Lower Hudson and Capital Region PRISMs.