Are there self-fertile kiwis in Canada?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by wf1992, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. wf1992

    wf1992 Member

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    Hi there, I'm looking for a kiwi, but have limited space and found Jenny available in the UK. Does anyone know where I'd get one in Vancouver?

    I'd also welcome any input on how growth habits & fruit compare to regular kiwis.
    Thanks!
     
  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I don't know where you can find the Jenny variety, but Issai is a self-fertile hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta) and is readily available in Vancouver. It is very productive and comes into bearing quickly. Of course it doesn't have the same taste as the Actinidia deliciosa types and is quite small; but it has no fuzz and can be eaten like grapes. I like its flavour better than that of the other varieties of hardy kiwis because it has some tartness that the others lack.
     
  3. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    I have a self-fertile kiwi cv 'Solo'. I am rather disappointed with it. In the two seasons I have grown it, it has only produced a small crop of very small fruit. I will give it one more season - then if it does not perform out it goes!

    In hindsight I should have just got normal male and female kiwis. You can grow the two plants close together so they do not take up too much room. I used to have a pair growing happily in a 40cm (16") diameter pot - well -happy until I went away on holiday and someone forgot to water them!!

    Boa sorte
    Brian
     
  4. Tylerj

    Tylerj Member

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    vitog....

    I'm curious to know if you have any male arguta plants that might have pollinated your issai variety or if yours set fruit without a male present? The reason I ask is that my issai's have flowered for 3 years but not one flower set fruit. Not until this year when one of my male argutas flowered and now every flower produced a fruit. I have read that if the Issai does fruit parthenocarpicly (no male pollen) that the fruit is smaller and in smaller numbers then if pollinated by another male. Also the seeds from those fruit would not be viable.

    Tyler
     
  5. wf1992

    wf1992 Member

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    I was looking at the Issai & Arctic varieties at a nursery today, and Issai does say self-fertile. I'll have to find one to taste when they ripen, because until then I'm unconvinced they're preferable to the good old-fashioned fuzzy kind :)

    In addition to the 'Jenny', Google has also come up with 'Blake' as a self-fertile (at least partially) fuzzy kiwi. If I can't source those, I suppose I'll look for the standard Hayward or Saanichton.
     
  6. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Tyler, I used to have a male arguta next to the Issai variety, but I removed it last year. This year the Issai is as loaded as ever with fruit. I do have a male arguta growing at the back of my house about 100 ft away from the Issai. I don't know if any cross pollination is occurring, but I'm planning to replace the male arguta with a new Issai (layered from the other one) to see if it will work as a pollinator for the female arguta at the back of the house.

    By the way, I do prefer the flavour of the regular, fuzzy kiwis over the Issai; but flavour is such a personal thing. The other big advantage of regular kiwis is that they ripen really late and can be stored for eating during the winter. The 3 varieties of argutas that I've tried ripen in September and do not store well; so I don't value them as highly.
     
  7. Tylerj

    Tylerj Member

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    Vitog..
    It would be very possible your male pollinated your issai even at that distance. Between wind and bees it would be very possible. If there are seeds in the fruit then you'll know it was indeed pollinated with a male.

    Before you dig up that male you might want to read some posts by "kiwinut" from gardenweb. He's done a lot of testing with Issai and found its pollen is not viable as a pollinator for other argutas. The term "self-fertile" is a bit misleading because from everything I've read they really are not. They will apparently set fruit parthenocarpicly once they are large enough but again fruit set is smaller and in fewer numbers.
     
  8. Tylerj

    Tylerj Member

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    Vitog you also mentioned the delisiosa variety (fuzzy type). Do you grow them as well?? If you have any males of that variety it will pollinate the issai arguta.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  9. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Tylerj, thanks for the info. I do have a male deliciosa. I noticed that the blooming period is not the same as the male arguta, but there is some overlap. If the Issai doesn't pollinate the Hayward arguta, it's no big loss. Most of the arguta fruit goes to waste because we get lots of grapes at that time of year, and everyone in our family prefers grapes over the small kiwis. Anyway, it will be years before the Issai vine will be large enough to replace the male arguta, and I like to experiment.
     

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