For those of you who grow actinidia kolomikta or arctic kiwi (not hardy kiwi or actinidia arguta), could you describe the flavor? I’ve tried arguta before and it taste like a more sweet version of regular kiwis you can try at the store. I’ve read online once that they have a little bit of a wintergreen taste to them. Is this at all accurate?
I have a couple plants in my back yard and one has fruited for me two years now. They aren’t very big and I don’t get very many so it’s hard to do a flavor comparison. If I had to describe it, I would say it tastes like a green kiwi with less acid.
Do you have any hardy kiwi to compare the taste to? Do you have a female to pollinate it?
I grow both arctic and hardy kiwi, arctic is a bit more mild, less acidic. Sometimes there can be a hint of wintergreen to the flavor, usually only with fruit that are more shaded
I would not call it a wintergreen flavor, but more of a mild mint flavor. They also usually have some pineapple mixed in. I find the flavor very good, in spite of not caring much for mint. They are far more precocious than argutas, but unfortunately, they have extremely low chill requirements, so are no good at all in areas with winter warm spells. They would leaf out after the first 3 warm days after mid December. I had to bring them inside during freezes after that to get any fruit. Unlike most other kiwis, they will bloom as small (3-4 ft) plants in containers.
Arctics (kolomiktas) are the most hardy. They produce fruit here near Minneapolis/St. Paul.
And they don’t bud out too early as kiwinut mentioned? Is it possible that its because his sound like they’re grown in containers?
My hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta) were not hardy enough and they all died before I got fruit so I’m unable to compare side by side.
I have two female cultivars of Actinidia kolomikta and a male. I can’t remember the cultivar names- but so far only one of the female plants has fruited. It’s definitely a novelty plant.
For flavor I like Arguta a bit more than Kolomikta but it’s close. I’m happy to have both species since it spreads out my harvest August-October (kolomikta ripen a month earlier than arguta)
Kolomiktas do great in high latitude climates, with short seasons and brief spring weather in places like Minnesota. They also seem to do well in the Pacific NW, where it rarely gets warm in winter. In Tennessee, they bud out in the middle of winter regardless of being in ground or containers. I resorted to containers in order to overcome this problem so I could hybridize them with diploid A. chinensis. I did get hybrids, but all were male and sterile.
If you have any issues with spring frosts, then go with arguta if they are hardy enough. It may take many years before they will adapt to the late frosts, but they eventually will. There are some Russian selections of arguta that are extra hardy, but I’m guessing those are also ready to hit the ground running at the first hint of spring-like warmth.
Actually, I find kiwis very late to leaf out here. I have a Natasha, Tatyana and one other very hardy arguta growing in some chicken wire and onto a fence in a field, and every spring I wonder if they are dead. Finally, long after everything else, they leaf out. They haven’t produced fruit yet. I should put some better deer protection around them, as deer love kiwis and prune anything sticking out where they can get their snouts on it.