This species is closely related to Actinidia hemsleyana[
The classiﬁcation of the genus Actinidia is difﬁcult and the taxonomy of some taxa is still confusing. Various studies since 1984 have estimated the genus to comprise anywhere between 54 - 76 species. The species of Actinidia are highly variable in their vegetative structures, as well as in their ﬂowers and fruits, which is the main reason for the difﬁculty in the classiﬁcation of the genus. A detailed study of the genus, based on a wide range of specimens, is needed to clarify the situation and it could be many more years of work until a natural classification system is found - Xinwei LI, Jianqiang LI, Djaja Djendoel SOEJART; Advances in the study of the systematics of Actinidia Lindley; Front. Biol. China 2009, 4(1): pp 55 - 61.
The treatment followed here is based mainly on the Flora of China[
], with some later amendments[
Actinidia melliana is a medium-sized, deciduous, climbing shrub producing one or more branched stems that twine into the surrounding vegetation for support[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - southern China.
Mountain forests and thickets at elevations of 200 - 1,350 metres[
Actinidia melliana is a plant of warm temperate to tropical areas in China, where it is found at elevations of 200 - 1,350 metres. It grows in montane areas of southern China where the climate is humid; the mean annual temperature is typically 19 - 20°c, with an average temperature in mid winter of 9 - 10°c, and in mid summer of 28 - 29°c; and the mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,500 -1,800mm[
]. It is likely to succeed outdoors at least in the warmer areas of the temperate zone. The mature growth can tolerate at least some frost, though young growth in the spring is very susceptible to frost damage[
Prefers a sound loamy neutral soil[
]. Succeeds in semi-shade but full sun is best for fruit production[
]. Prefers a sheltered position[
Fruits are formed on second year wood and also on fruit spurs on older wood[
], any pruning is best carried out in the winter[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.
Female plants produce morphologically perfect flowers with well-developed pistils and stamens, but their stamens produce nonviable pollen; flowers of male plants have small, rudimentary ovaries without viable ovules but their stamens release viable pollen[
Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is hairless when fully ripe, around 16 - 22mm long by 15mm wide[
]. It contains a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[
]. It is probably best if the seed is given 3 months stratification[
], either sow it in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in late autumn or as soon as it is received. Fresh seed germinates in 2 - 3 months at 10°c, stored seed can take longer[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. When the plants are 30cm or more tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[
]. Most seedlings are male[
]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, they must be kept well ventilated[
Cuttings of softwood as soon as ready in spring in a frame[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame. Very high percentage[
Cuttings of ripe wood, autumn in a frame.