The kiwi is a sarmentous or climbing plant, with long and stormy stems that can reach up to 10m in length. Its leaves are simple, alternate and large. They are almost circular in shape and with a serrated edge. As it is a dioecious tree, it is necessary to have male flowers in the crop to achieve good fruiting of the female plants. Its flowers are large and white, with a diameter that reaches 7cm. Its fruits are ellipsoidal, rounded and with a characteristic green flesh. Its root system is quite superficial and not very extensive.
In Spain approximately 1,500 hectares of kiwi are cultivated, of which approximately 24,000 tons are produced annually. It is not a very widespread crop, but it has a high added value as it is an exotic fruit and valued by consumers.
They prefer loamy or sandy-clay soils, well drained and deep. Its growth is favored in soils with a high content of organic matter and a neutral or slightly acidic pH. They are sensitive to chlorosis, especially in calcareous soils.
The kiwi is a very demanding plant in terms of soil and climate. When the trees are young they are very sensitive to the cold, but when they are more than 3 years old they can bear the cold very well, down to -15ºC. Its cold requirement is about 600 hours at less than 7ºC to enter production correctly. They are quite sensitive to strong winds, since their shoots of the year and leaves are fragile and a strong wind can damage the harvest.
In relation to their water needs, actinides need 800 to 1000mm of water per year.
In Spain, the cultivated varieties of kiwi are from New Zealand. Especially the combination of the Tomuri male pollinator with the Hayward female variety is used. It has very good organoleptic characteristics and, above all, good cold storage, which makes it a widely used variety worldwide.
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