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Actinidia coriacea Dunn

Modern name

Actinidia rubricaulis Dunn

A unisexual deciduous climber 20 to 25 ft high; young shoots glabrous, turning dark brown, freely spotted with small, whitish lenticels the second year; pith solid. Leaves leathery, lanceolate to oblanceolate, slenderly pointed at both ends, the margins set with rather remote, sharp, small teeth; 3 to 512 in. long, 34 to 134 in. wide; dark green above, pale beneath, quite glabrous; stalk 34 to 114 in. long. Flowers fragrant, produced in May and June singly or in pairs from the leaf-axils of the young wood or from separate short leafless branches of the previous year; they are deep, rather lurid red, 12 in. wide; petals concave, 14 in. long; sepals pale green, also concave; anthers yellow with reddish stalks; styles numerous, red, arranged cartwheel fashion at the summit of the downy balloon-shaped ovary. Fruit a white-dotted, brown, globose or egg-shaped berry, 34 in. wide, juicy, containing many small seeds. Bot. Mag., t. 9140 – male plant.

Native of W. Szechwan, China; Wilson found it in Mupin and on Mt. Omei in 1904; introduced by him in 1908 (No. 932), and shown at Chelsea in 1921. The flowers are richly coloured but do not last long. It has proved rather tender in cultivation, and is no longer grown at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, nor at Rowallane, Co. Down – gardens in which it was stated in previous editions to have thrived. The cultivated plants were originally distributed as “A. henryi” and may still be grown under that name. The male plant figured in the Botanical Magazine has rather larger flowers and as many as four in a cluster.



Other species in the genus