Is Kiwi A Tropical Fruit? All You Need To Know

When we think of tropical fruits, images of juicy pineapples, ripe mangoes, and sweet papayas come to mind. But what about Kiwis? With its fuzzy brown exterior and vibrant green interior, the kiwi may not immediately come to mind when we think of tropical fruits. However, its origin and growing conditions may surprise you.

In this article, we will explore whether or not kiwis are considered tropical fruits and delve into the characteristics that define a tropical fruit.

What are tropical fruits?

Tropical fruits are a group of fruits that are mainly cultivated in warm and humid regions of the world, such as Central and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. They require specific soil conditions and ample rainfall to flourish.

Pineapple, mango, papaya, guava, passion fruit, and coconut are some of the commonly known tropical fruits. These fruits are renowned for their distinct flavor profiles, ranging from sweet and tangy to tart and sour.

They also possess vivid colors and unique aromas, making them popular ingredients in a range of culinary applications, including desserts, smoothies, and cocktails.

The origin and cultivation of kiwi fruit

Originating from the Yangtze River valley in China, Kiwi fruit, or Chinese gooseberry, was introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th century and became commercially cultivated. Today, New Zealand is one of the biggest producers of kiwi fruit worldwide, with Italy, Chile, and Greece following suit.

Kiwi fruit thrives in temperate climates, with mild winters and warm summers, making it well-suited for cultivation in regions such as New Zealand, where it is grown on large-scale commercial farms. The fruit is usually grown on trellises, allowing for easy harvesting and increased yields.

Kiwi fruit plants are dioecious, meaning they have male and female plants that are required for pollination. In commercial cultivation, one male plant is typically planted for every 6-8 female plants to ensure proper pollination. Additionally, kiwi fruit plants require well-draining soil and regular watering to thrive.

The fruit is typically harvested in the autumn months when it has reached maturity and is ready to be picked. Once harvested, kiwi fruit can be stored for several weeks as long as it is kept in a cool, dry place.

Is Kiwi A Tropical Fruit?

No, kiwi fruit is not considered a tropical fruit. While kiwi fruit shares some characteristics with tropical fruits, such as its sweet and tangy taste, it does not grow in a tropical climate. Kiwi fruit is typically grown in temperate climates with mild winters and warm summers, such as New Zealand, Italy, and Chile.

Kiwi fruit is not native to tropical regions and is believed to have originated in China. While some may argue that kiwi fruit can be classified as a tropical fruit due to its taste and growing conditions, the scientific consensus is that it is not considered a tropical fruit.

Climate requirements of kiwi

Kiwi plants require a subtropical climate to thrive. They prefer mild winters with no frost and warm summers. Kiwi vines are vigorous and require sturdy support structures to grow and bear fruit.

The scientific classification of kiwi fruit

The Actinidiaceae family encompasses various fruit-bearing plants like the kiwi fruit, arguta, kolomikta, and polygama.

Kiwi fruit, scientifically known as Actinidia deliciosa, is a type of woody vine native to southern China. It is a perennial plant that can grow up to ten feet long and produces edible fruits, typically three inches in length. The fruit has a fuzzy, brown skin that is peeled away to reveal the bright green flesh.

The Actinidiaceae family comprises different kiwi fruit varieties classified based on their size, skin texture, and flavor profile. The most commonly cultivated variety is the Hayward, while the golden kiwi has a sweeter and less tangy taste than the traditional green kiwi.

The scientific classification of kiwi fruit recognizes its unique characteristics and traits as a plant species within the larger fruit-bearing plant family.

Why is Kiwi sometimes mistaken as a tropical fruit?

Although kiwi fruit has a taste and appearance similar to some tropical fruits, it is not actually a tropical fruit. Its sweet and tangy flavor, along with its soft and juicy texture, may remind people of tropical fruits like mango and papaya. Additionally, the bright green flesh of the fruit is visually appealing and reminiscent of the vibrant colors found in many tropical fruits.

Kiwi fruit is commercially produced in countries like Italy, Chile, and Greece, which may be associated with warmer climates, adding to the misconception that it is a tropical fruit. However, kiwi fruit requires specific temperatures and soil conditions for optimal growth and does not grow in tropical regions.

Despite these similarities, the scientific classification of kiwi fruit supports the fact that it is not a tropical fruit. While it may share some characteristics with tropical fruits, it has distinct requirements and origins that set it apart.

Can kiwi fruit be grown in tropical regions?

Kiwi fruit can be grown in a range of climates, including semi-tropical regions. Kiwi fruit vines require a period of cold temperatures to set fruit, which is why they can thrive in regions that experience a month of below 45-degree F temperatures in winter.

Some kiwi fruit varieties, such as hardy and super-hardy kiwis, are better suited to colder climates and can tolerate temperatures as low as -25°F.

However, it is important to note that kiwi fruit cultivation in tropical regions may require specialized farming techniques and careful consideration of factors such as soil quality and temperature control.

Culinary uses of kiwi

Kiwi can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be eaten fresh, added to fruit salads, blended into smoothies, or used as a topping for desserts. The tangy and sweet flavor of kiwi adds a refreshing twist to culinary creations.

Popular kiwi recipes

  1. Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie
  2. Kiwi Spinach Salad
  3. Kiwi Salsa
  4. Kiwi Pavlova
  5. Kiwi Sorbet

Selecting and storing kiwi

When selecting kiwis, look for fruits that are plump, firm, and free

from bruises or wrinkles. Ripe kiwis yield slightly to gentle pressure. Avoid kiwis that are overly soft or mushy. To ripen kiwis, leave them at room temperature for a few days. Once ripe, store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Interesting facts about kiwi

  • Kiwis are rich in actinidin, an enzyme that can tenderize meat.
  • The kiwi fruit is named after the kiwi bird, which is the national symbol of New Zealand.
  • Kiwi fruits are typically harvested by hand to avoid damaging the delicate skin.

Wrapping Up

Kiwi fruit is not a tropical fruit, but rather a temperate fruit that thrives in mild to cool climates. It belongs to the genus Actinidia, which includes over 60 different species of woody vines that produce small, edible fruit. The fruit is believed to have originated in China and was first cultivated in New Zealand before spreading to other countries worldwide.

While kiwi fruit is not commonly grown in tropical regions, it is possible to grow it in certain tropical climates using appropriate farming techniques and environmental conditions. Optimal growth and fruit production require specific temperatures and soil conditions, and selecting appropriate kiwi fruit varieties can also impact cultivation success.

Despite its specific growing requirements, kiwi fruit is a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed in various ways, from eating it fresh to incorporating it into smoothies, salads, and desserts. With its unique taste and vibrant appearance, kiwi fruit is a versatile fruit that adds a refreshing and healthy twist to any meal.


Can I eat kiwi with the skin on?

Yes, you can eat kiwi with the skin on, as it is edible and provides additional fiber. However, some people prefer to peel the kiwi due to its slightly fuzzy texture.

How do I know if a kiwi is ripe?

Ripe kiwis should yield slightly to gentle pressure when pressed. They should feel firm but not too hard. Avoid kiwis that are overly soft or mushy.

Can I freeze kiwi?

Yes, you can freeze kiwi for later use. Peel and slice the kiwi before placing it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Frozen kiwi can be stored for several months.

Are kiwis high in sugar?

Kiwis contain natural sugars but are not considered high in sugar compared to some other fruits. They can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.

Are there different varieties of kiwi?

Yes, there are several varieties of kiwi, including green-fleshed kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) and golden kiwi (Actinidia chinensis). The green-fleshed kiwi is the most common variety found in stores.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button