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Actinidia polygama (Sieb. & Zucc.) Maxim.

Silver Vine

Modern name

Actinidia polygama (Siebold & Zucc.) Maxim.


Trochostigma polygama Sieb. & Zucc.

A slender climber, forming in a wild state a large tangle of entwined stems 15 to 20 ft high. Leaves elliptical or ovate-oblong, pointed, 3 to 5 in. long, bristly toothed on the margin, and bristly on the veins, usually wedge-shaped, sometimes somewhat heart-shaped at the base; stalks bristly. Flowers fragrant, usually in threes (sometimes single or in pairs), 34 in. diameter, white. Fruit beaked, 112 in. long, 12 in. broad in the middle, narrowing at either end, canary yellow, translucent, soft and juicy, with a disagreeable flavour.

Native of Central Japan, and plentiful in the mountains there. As in A. kolomikta, sometimes the entire leaf, sometimes its terminal half, is white or yellowish, but it is a stronger grower. It is not, however, a tall climber like A. arguta and A. chinensis, but may be grown as a sort of thicket, if support be given at first. It is confused often with A. kolomikta, but differs in the usually tapered or rounded (instead of cordate) base of the leaf, in its white, solid (not chambered) pith, and in having the stigma on a short thick style. The plant, like several other species, has an extraordinary attraction for cats.

A. tetramera Maxim. – Native of China, closely allied to the preceding and to A. kolomikta. It is distinguished by its narrowly ovate leaves, 1 to 112 in. long, and by its flowers having four sepals and petals instead of the usual five.



Other species in the genus