- Common name: Kolomikta, splashed paint plant
- Type: Climber
- Flowering: Spring
- Height and spread: 4-8 metres
- Soil: Moist, fertile, well-drained
- Aspect: South facing wall
- Hardiness: Fully hardy
- Care: Easy
Actinidia kolomikta is a vigorous twining climber. Grown for its unusual leaf colouring, which is green with a large pink and white blob at the tip.
Want to find an Actinidia Kolomikta at Reveley? Look at the cabin wall, on the way to the vegetable garden.
A deciduous climber, Actinidia kolomikta is a relative of the Kiwi fruit, Actinidia deliciosa. The national fruit of China. In the early 1900’s seeds were introduced to New Zealand, and in 1959 Turners and Growers (T & G Global) named it kiwifruit as the skins of the fruit are brown and furry, like the Kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird. Today, Italy is the current leading producer of kiwifruit with New Zealand second.
Although grown for its pretty leaf colouring, Actinidia kolomikta does bear small lightly scented, creamy white flowers in spring, which can produce small fruit. Actinidia species are dioecious, which means that plants are either male or female. Therefore, a female plant will need to be pollinated by a male plant in order to produce fruits.
Actinidia comes from the Greek aktis, a ray, referring to the star like flowers or to the rayed stigmas of the female flowers.
A native of the forests of Korea, Japan, China and Eastern Russia, it was introduced to western culture in the late 1800’s.
Actinidia kolomikta is generally pest free, but, unfortunately it is attractive to cats! Who will happily shred the stems. The plant will need to be grown against a sheltered south facing wall, in moist, fertile but well drained soil. You will need to provide wire supports for the stems to twine around.
Prune in winter if necessary. Actinidia can be propagated by semi ripe cuttings in mid-summer or by layering in winter.
The variety Actinidia polygama, known as the silver vine, can be grown in partial shade to full sun, it has silver tipped leaves.