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Actinidia arguta

Biological Category 
Species Type 
NY Invasiveness Rank 
LHPrism Status 
Tier 2 - Emerging

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  • Hardy kiwi is a member of the Taravine family (Actinidiaceae).
  • A deciduous, dioecious, twining woody vine capable of growing up to 20 feet in a single season, Hardy kiwi is most conspicuous in summer when clusters of fragrant white flowers with dark purple anthers bloom. (1)

Leaves are dark green, oval shaped, approximately three to five inches long, and alternately arranged with sharply serrated margins. Leaves have distinctive red petioles. [specific description and id characteristics]

Flowers are borne in clusters emerging in midsummer and are approximately one inch in diameter, pleasantly fragrant, and white to pale green in color, with purple anthers. (2)

Fruit matures to oval-shaped, one inch long, green, pendant fruits in September to October. Fruit is not particularly flavorful. (1)

Introduction History 
Hardy kiwi was introduced to North American from it's native Japan at the end of the 19th century. It has been in cultivation without incident until recently. The species is now naturalized in at least six states, though its planting range covers many more. (3, 6)
Ecology and Habitat 
Hardy kiwi’s physical characteristics suggest the species is dispersed via frugivorous birds and mammals. Generally, a dioecious species Hardy kiwi requires a male and female plant to reproduce. The resulting seed is generally sterile, though not always. Hermaphroditic flowers have been discovered on some individuals, although how frequently this occurs is unknown. (9) Vectors include birds, mammals and horticultural trade. (7,11)
Impacts of this species 

Hardy kiwi is capable of rapid growth and can form dense stands which block sunlight and smother native vegetation, possibly causing serious alterations in the natural communities it invades. A number of sites throughout Vermont, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey demonstrate the species potential to degrade and alter habitat, creating large homogeneous 'vinelands.’  However, research is lacking on the species reproductive capability and ability to establish populations away from cultivation. 

Management Methods 

Biological Control
There is no biological control agent available at this time. 

Manual or Mechanical Control
Pulling / Digging Up: Not advisable for larger vines. Underground runners are abundant and will rapidly regenerate. For smaller vines and seedlings, pulling, if done carefully, is an acceptable method of control. (8)

Cutting: Cutting is a necessary first step in controlling Hardy kiwi vines, however, it will not result in control if not paired with subsequent herbicide treatments. Cut vines are best left in the trees or piled off the ground. Hardy kiwi stem nodes in contact with soil will re-sprout. (5,8)

Girdling: Not applicable. Will cause re-sprouting. 

Prescribed Fire: No information available

Prescribed Grazing: No information available

Soil Tilling: Not advisable. May cause root sprouting. 

Mulching: No information available

Solarization: No information available

Hot Foam Spray: No information available

Chemical Control
The pesticide application rates and usage herein are recommendations based on research and interviews with land managers.  When considering the use of pesticides, it is your responsibility to fully understand the laws, regulations and best practices required to apply pesticides in a responsible manner.  At times, the pest you seek to treat may not be on a pesticide label, requiring a 2ee exemption from NYSDEC.  Always thoroughly read the label of any pesticide and consult the NYSDEC or a licensed pesticide applicator with questions.

Foliar Spray: Repeat foliar applications of 3% glyphosate spray may be useful on the foliage of large, procumbent vines which are difficult to detach from the soil or cut. (5)

Cut Stump: This is potentially the most effective method of control for hardy kiwi. Apply undiluted glyphosate to cut stumps of larger vines during the growing season. 

Basal Bark: Use a 25% solution of triclopyr in oil and apply during dormancy. (10)

Stem Injection: Not applicable

Pre-Emergent Spray: No information available

Summary of Best Managment Practices 

General management overview and recommendation
As with any other invasive infestation complex, Hardy kiwi is best managed via a combination of mechanical and chemical means. Very small populations may be effectively controlled by careful hand pulling and targeted cutting and herbicide application. Larger populations warrant intensive cutting, cut-stump application and careful piling of all cut woody debris. All managed infestations should be monitored for several years to manage re-sprouting.

Post treatment monitoring
Controlled populations should be revisited for at least four years to ensure no germination of new seedlings has occurred. 

Disposal Methods
All cut stems of Hardy kiwi must either be left in the canopy to decompose or piled off the ground to prevent re-rooting. Dried material can be chipped or composted so long as it is devoid of fruit.