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The silvervine kiwi owes its name to the silvery discoloration of the leaves, which is especially common among male plants. The leaves, which seem to be grey-green at first, gradually change to a yellowish colour and gain their sweet taste after the first night of frost. Before this, they have a spicy flavour which is somewhat comparable to that of a red pepper.
The plant is generally much more consistent with the Actinidia kolomikta, but it’s more vigorous and less hardy (up to -15 degrees Celsius). The leaves can be used for tea and have a calming effect.
Keep the seeds in the refrigerator for the first 4-8 weeks , then sow them in sowing soil at 20 degrees Celsius. If there is no germination after a few weeks, you can re-refrigerate the seeds. After 4-8 weeks, take the seeds out again and keep them in a warm space or environment.
With the transition from cold (winter) to heat (spring), the period of dormancy has to be broken. It’s possible that multiple cold periods are required to do so. It can be quite difficult to get this species to germinate.
November - June
Photo 1: Arnold Arboretum via Flickr
Photo 2: Karl Gercens