Legality of growing hardy kiwi at issue in Massachusetts

“The Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) has voted to designate a locally-produced species of kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta; a.k.a. the kiwiberry) as “likely invasive” in the state and has petitioned to have it added to the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources (MADR) statewide prohibited plant list”

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Thanks for bringing this up. I’ve emailed them, If anyone else wants to, you’ve got less than two days left before the comment period closes on 1/10 at 5pm.

I believe that the designation of “invasive plant” will only outlaw sales of the plant within the state??

I couldn’t find the general rule, but the currant/gooseberry one bans the seeds, but has an exception for the fruit, as long as the seeds won’t be extracted for planting.

sec 9.02:

No person shall transport into or within the Commonwealth anyblack currant (Ribes nigrum) plant, root, scion, seed or cutting. This prohibition shall not apply to the transport, delivery, or possession of the fruit of black currant for the sole purpose of processing the fruit. In no event, however, shall the fruit of black currant be transported, delivered, or used for the purpose of extracting seed for planting.

Exactly. So agricultural use is exempted.

No, I don’t think they will let them be grown in the state. It is saying that you can truck the fruit in and process/sell it in the state. But the plants need to stay out. I imagine that they would do something similar with Hardy Kiwi, as they are sold in stores more often than black currants and gooseberries.

The restriction is on transport of plant material. If you already have it then you are grandfathered in.

Sounds like if you want to grow kiwis in Massachusetts you had best plant them ASAP.

Importing plants and fruit would be unlawful if kiwi get added to the invasive plant listing.
A historic planting of actinidia arguta got out of control at an Audubon sanctuary which drew attention because of the site’s significance.


Update- The advisory board did not put actinidia arguta (hardy kiwi) on the invasive species list due to the high volume of dissenting letters, emails, and folks who showed up at the hearing- yay! However, they are still deliberating additional g it so the fight isn’t over.
Thanks to all those who spoke up in favor of this potentially valuable crop, we made a difference.