Silver Vine (Actinidia polygama)

Climber
A. volubilis. (Sieb.&Zucc.)Planch. Trochostigma polygama. Sieb.&Zucc.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Silver Vine
Actinidia polygama
Actinidiaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves are hallucinogenic and sedative[192]. The leaves contain substances that make them very attractive to cats and for this reason they are especially useful as a sedative for lions etc in zoos[192]. When consumed in large quantities the leaves can have a mild hallucinatory effect[192].

    Polygamol, which is made from the fruits, is used as a heart tonic[218]. A dry decoction is used to treat colic and rheumatism[218].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked[183]. Not very palatable, it is eaten salted[151, 177]. Some cultivars have nice flavoured fruits[183]. The fruit contains up to 5 times the vitamin C. of blackcurrants[74]. Fairly large fruits, up to 3cm across[200]. It contains a number of small seeds, but these are easily eaten with the fruit[K].

    Leaves – raw or cooked[4, 61, 105, 177, 183]. The leaves can also be roasted and mixed with tea[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse[133]. It is probably best if the seed is given 3 months stratification[113], either sow it in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in November or as soon as it is received. Fresh seed germinates in 2 – 3 months at 10¡c, stored seed can take longer[133]. 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[K]. Most seedlings are male[126]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, they must be kept well ventilated[113]. Cuttings of softwood as soon as ready in spring in a frame[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very high percentage[113]. Cuttings of ripe wood, October/November in a frame.
Prefers a sound loamy neutral soil[1, 200]. Succeeds in semi-shade but full sun is best for fruit production[200]. Prefers a sheltered position[200]. Plants are hardy to about -30¡c. when dormant but young growth in spring can be cut back by late frosts[160]. Fruits are formed on second year wood and also on fruit spurs on older wood[126], any pruning is best carried out in the winter[219]. The flowers are fragrant[245]. This is a climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around branches etc[200]. The plant is very attractive to cats and can be damaged by them[74, 151, 200]. This species has been confused in literature with A. kolomikta[198]. It is closely related but can be distinguished by the leaves which are tapered at the base whilst those of A. kolomikta are heart-shaped[219]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. One report suggests that plants are self-fertile whilst another says that they are dioecious. It is likely that most plants are dioecious but that there are some self-fertile hermaphrodite forms. A cultivar named 418-77 is self-fertile[183].
E. Asia – China, Japan

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.