Actinidia arguta 'Issai'

Common Name: hardy kiwi vine 
Type: Fruit
Family: Actinidiaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Clay Soil


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Planting in infertile soil may temper somewhat rapid growth habit. Needs frequent pruning, including an annual winter pruning of each stem back to 8-10 buds and an annual summer pruning of excessively long shoots.

'Issai' needs much less pruning than the species due to its restrained growth habit.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Actinidia arguta, commonly known as hardy kiwi or tara vine, is a deciduous, fast-growing, twining woody vine that is typically grown for its attractive foliage and edible fruit. It is native to woodlands, mountain forests, streamsides and moist locations in eastern Asia, China and Japan. It grows to 25-30' or more, but growth is often so rampant that this vine, in its native habitat, may climb to as much as 100' into large trees. Broad-ovate to elliptic deep green leaves (3-5" long) emerge in spring, scented greenish-white flowers (to 3/4" long) bloom in June and edible grape-sized smooth-skinned fruits (to 1 1/4" long) mature in September-October. Species plants are dioecious (separate male and female plants), with at least one male pollinator needed for fruit set on female vines. It tastes similar to, though slightly sweeter than, its larger-fruited relative, the true kiwi, Actinidia deliciosa, which can not be grown north of Zone 8.

Genus name comes from the Greek word aktis meaning ray in reference to how the plant growth radiates like the spokes of a wheel.

Specific epithet means sharply toothed or notched in reference to the toothed leaves.

'Issai' is a hermaphroditic cultivar (perfect flowers) that needs no separate male pollinator for fruit production. It is a restrained version of the species, typically growing to only 12-20'. Smooth-skinned, green fruits (to 1 1/2" long) are similar in taste but sweeter than the much larger kiwi fruits sold in grocery stores, namely Actinidia deliciosa. Fruits may be eaten skin and all like a grape.


No serious disease or insect problems.


This fast growing vine can be grown both for its beautiful foliage and its fruit. Rapid growth habit makes it suitable for a variety of cover-type uses such as on a trellis, arbor, patio overhead, fence, or wall.

Can be grown in containers.