What does it look like?
Kiwifruit is a vigorous vine that is cultivated for its fruit. The entire plant is hairy. The leaves are oval, about 14cm across and have finely-toothed margins. The leaf stem is reddish in colour. During October-December kiwifruit produces white flowers that are up to about 6 cm across. They are followed by edible fruits that are brown, hairy, oval and up to 8cm long. They have green flesh and numerous black seeds. Wild kiwifruit vines can grow more than 20 m high into the forest canopy.
Why is it a problem?
Wilding kiwifruit can grow in a wide variety of habitats including scrub, gullies, young and old stands of native bush and pine plantations. Seedlings appear to be moderately shade tolerant and can establish in tree fall gaps within mature forest. It is also tolerant of a reasonably wide temperature range, although young shoots are frost sensitive.
Wilding kiwifruit grow rapidly so they can out-compete native seedlings and pine seedlings and form dense, heavy blankets of growth. The smothered plants beneath the kiwifruit vines are shaded and may break under the weight of the vines. Kiwifruit plants are also very long-lived.