Actinidia melanandra Franch.

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A tall deciduous climber, with glabrous young shoots and chambered (lamellate) pith. Leaves oblong or narrowly oval, tapered or rounded at the base, slenderly often abruptly pointed, toothed; 212 to 4 in. long, 1 to 134 in. wide; glabrous above, glaucous beneath, with tufts of brown down in the vein-axils; stalk 1 to 112 in. long. Flowers unisexual, white, 34 to 1 in. wide, females solitary, males three to seven in a short raceme; anthers purple. Fruit egg-shaped, 1 in. or rather more long, reddish brown covered with bloom. Blossoms in June.

Native of Hupeh and Szechwan, China; discovered in the latter province by the French missionary, Père Farges; introduced by Wilson in 1910. It is well distinguished by the glaucous under-surface of the leaves, which are glabrous except for the axil-tufts. It is quite hardy at Kew and has borne fruit there.



Other species in the genus