Is Kiwi a Citrus Fruit?

by Charlie

Kiwis are often called Kiwifruits in New Zealand and Australia, and the Chinese gooseberry in other parts of the world. They earned the term, Chinese gooseberry, because of their fuzzy and fibrous outer layer. Kiwis have light brown skin, light green flesh and usually grow to be as big as a large fowl’s egg. They are also called Chinese gooseberry because they were initially prevalent in China and still are to this day.

Is kiwi a citrus fruit? Kiwis are not a citrus fruit. They lack the district taste that’s common to most citruses. They also tend to have black edible seeds, unlike milky white, large, and bitter ones found in citruses. Kiwis belong to the genus Actinidia, which is known for shrubs and vines. Citruses, on the other hand, belong to the genus of the same name and are known for growing on trees.

Are there Similarities between Kiwis and Citruses?

Kiwis and citruses share a lot in common. For example, kiwis are mostly found in sunny subtropical environments where they thrive on water. Kiwis also contain a lot of vitamin C, similar to citruses. In fact, some kiwis, like the green Kiwifruit, have more vitamin C than oranges!

Citruses don’t have a monopoly on vitamin C because several fruits have an equally high concentration of the beneficial ascorbic acid. Some popular ones are Guavas, Pineapples, and strawberries.

Unsurprisingly, these fruits are also sometimes mistaken for citruses. But they also lack the characteristic features, like the large milky seeds, the taste, and in the cases of pineapples, the overall shape.

It’s interesting to note that other subtropical fruits, like the pomegranates, are often mistaken for citruses because of their cultivating weather. However, pomegranates are not citruses. They lack sufficient quantities of amino acids and belong to the Rutaceae family of flowering plants.

What are the Different Types of Kiwis?

The Hayward is the most common type of kiwi. Because it’s the most commercially sold variety, it’s simply known as the Kiwifruit. The Hayward has brown fuzz and green flesh. It’s so popular because of its sweetness when eaten.

Other types of kiwis include the Green kiwi, the Gold kiwi, the Hardy kiwi, and the Kolomikta. The Hardy kiwi has evolved to withstand cold temperatures. It is considerably smaller than the Hayward and is often sold as a baby kiwi or kiwi grape. The hardy can be eaten whole.

The Kolomikta can also withstand cold temperatures and has ten times more vitamin C than the Hayward. The Kolomikta is also called the arctic kiwi.

How Much Vitamin C Does a Kiwi Have?

As we’ve seen, some kiwis have large vitamin C reserves, often dwarfing those found in citruses. A 100-gram serving of oranges contains about 53 milligrams of Vitamin C. Green kiwis are known to contain up to 93 milligrams, almost twice as much as oranges. But SunGold kiwis contain even more. Some sources have reported as much as 161 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 milligrams of SunGold Kiwis.

Are there Seedless Kiwis?

Most seedless fruits are cultivated due to popular demand. Since they are easier to consume without seeds, cultivators cross breed until they find suitable variations to raise demand. 

However, kiwi seeds are edible, and the fruit can be eaten whole, eliminating the need for a seedless variety. Additionally, some kinds of kiwis, like the hardy, are small enough that the seeds don’t matter. 

There are no seedless kiwis because kiwi seeds are small and edible. They don’t affect eating pleasure in any way.

How are Kiwis Cultivated?

Planting Kiwis is tricky because they don’t always grow like the parent plant. A kiwi vine may not produce edible fruits like the one it came from. Therefore, cultivators usually obtain vine grafts for the best results. 

Kiwis seeds are planted by firstly sprouting in a humid environment. Once the seeds have sprouted, they are transferred to the soil. While growing, kiwis need a vertical trellis to climb so as to get greater access to sunlight.

These fruits also have specific cultivating conditions. Hardy kiwis need temperatures of between 30 to 45 °F while golden kiwis need 10 to 30 °F.

Where are Kiwis Mostly Cultivated?

In 2018, China produced 50% of the world’s Kiwi population (about 1,765,847 metric tons), and it continues to make about that amount today. Next to China, Italy (447,560 metric tons), New Zealand (382,337 metric tons), and Chile (255,758) were the largest producers. Kiwis also grow in a lot of areas, including Greece, France, Turkey, and Iran.

What are the Health Benefits of Kiwis?

Kiwis have been shown to have fantastic health benefits, including improving digestion, boosting immune system function, and regulating blood pressure. Their high concentration of Vitamin C also makes them great for improved iron absorption and red blood cell production.

Kiwis have also been shown in some studies to have anti-cancer properties, lower blood sugar, and increase the rate of vision.

How did the Kiwi Fruit Get its Name?

Kiwis were initially called Chinese gooseberries because of their origin and fuzzy nature. However, in the twentieth century, they were named Kiwifruit because they resemble the Kiwi bird.

Interestingly, the Kiwi bird got its name from the Polynesian bird, the bristle-thighed curlew, locally known as the Kivi.

Final Thoughts

  • Kiwis are not citruses even though they have similar characteristics
  • Kiwis are known as the Kiwifruit and the Chinese gooseberry in some parts of the world
  • The similarities between citruses and kiwis include a high citric acid content and the cultivation conditions
  • Popular types of kiwis include the Hayward, the Gold kiwi, and the Kolomikta
  • The SunGold kiwi has twice more vitamin C than oranges.
  • There are no seedless kiwis 
  • Kiwis are cultivated by planting their seeds or planting grafts
  • China, Italy, and New Zealand are the leading producers of kiwi
  • Kiwis have fantastic health benefits like boosting the immune system and improving digestion
  • Kiwis are named for their similarity to the Kiwi bird

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