Trees, shrubs, or woody vines. Leaves alternate, simple, shortly or long petiolate, not stipulate. Flowers bisexual or unisexual or plants polygamous or functionally dioecious, usually fascicled, cymose, or paniculate. Sepals (2 or 3 or) 5, imbricate, rarely valvate. Petals (4 or) 5, sometimes more, imbricate. Stamens 10 to numerous, distinct or adnate to base of petals, hypogynous; anthers 2-celled, versatile, dehiscing by apical pores or longitudinally. Ovary superior, disk absent, locules and carpels 3-5 or more; placentation axile; ovules anatropous with a single integument, 10 or more per locule; styles as many as carpels, distinct or connate (then only one style), generally persistent. Fruit a berry or leathery capsule. Seeds not arillate, with usually large embryos and abundant endosperm.
Economically, kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa) is an important fruit, which originated in central China and is especially common along the Yangtze River (well known as yang-tao) . Now, it is widely cultivated throughout the world.
The Family Actinidiaceae is a member of the Order Ericales. Here is the complete "parentage" of Actinidiaceae:
- Domain: Eukaryota
Whittaker & Margulis,1978 - eukaryotes
- Kingdom: Plantae
Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae
Cavalier-Smith, 1981 - Green Plants
- Phylum: Tracheophyta
Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina
- Phylum: Tracheophyta Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae Cavalier-Smith, 1981 - Green Plants
- Kingdom: Plantae Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
The Family Actinidiaceae is further organized into finer groupings including:
- Subfamily (3): Actinidioideae · Clematoclethroideae · Saurauioideae
- Tribe (2): Anemoneae · Salvieae
- Genus (20): Actinidia · Apatelia · Blumia · Clematoclethra · Draytonia · Kalomikta · Kolomikta · Leucothea · Marumia · Obelanthera · Parasaurauia · Saurauia · Saurauja · Saurauria · Scapha · Suarauia · Tonshia · Trematanthera · Trochostigma · Vanalphimia
- Species: ZipcodeZoo has pages for 1,092 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in the Family Actinidiaceae.
Actinidia () is a genus of woody and, with few exceptions, dioecious plants native to temperate eastern Asia, occurring throughout most of China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, and extending north to southeast Siberia and south into Indochina. The genus includes shrubs growing to 6 m tall, and vigorous, strong-growing vines, growing up to 30 m in tree canopies. [more]
Woody vines, deciduous. Branchlets glabrous, puberulent, tomentose, lanate, or setose. Bud scales laminated, blackish brown, leathery, hairy or not, always persistent at bases of young shoots. Leaves petiolate, leathery to papery, margin entire or finely bristle-toothed or callus-toothed. Flowers solitary or on cymose inflorescences, bisexual. Sepals 5, imbricate, connate at base, persistent. Petals 5, imbricate. Stamens 10; filaments short, stout, dilated toward base; anthers ovoid, versatile, 2-celled, dehiscing through 2 longitudinal slits, inverted due to inflexion of filaments after anthesis, their morphological bases apical when mature. Ovary globose, glabrous, 5-ribbed, 5-loculed; ovules 8-10 per locule; styles connate into a cylindrical to filiform, somewhat fleshy, sometimes 5-striate structure; stigma capitate, small, 5-lobuled. Fruit berrylike or a leathery capsule, 5-ribbed when dry, with 1 seed per carpel, apex with persistent style. Seeds obtriangular, smooth, with endosperm.  [more]
Saurauia Willd. is a genus of plant in the Actinidiaceae family. It comprises about 250 species distributed in the tropics and subtropics of Asia, and South and Central America. Genetic evidence and the cell biology of the group support monophyly of the genus. Monophyly of the genus is also supported by micromorphological characters of the group and by phylogenetic analysis, although the exact evolutionary relationships of this genus with the other two genera of the Actinidiaceae, the Actinidia and the Clematoclethra, are not well understood. [more]
More info about the Genus Vanalphimia may be found here.
- Liang Chou-fen, Chen Yong-chang & Wang Yu-sheng. 1984. Actinidiaceae (excluding Sladenia). In: Feng Kuo-mei, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 49(2): 195-301, 309-334.
- X. W. Li, J. Q. Li, and D. D. Soejarto (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 45: 633-660. 2007).
- Jianqiang Li, Li Xinwei & D. Doel Soejarto "Actinidiaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 12 Page 334,364. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org.
- "Clematoclethra". in Flora of China Vol. 12 Page 334, 355. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org.
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