Domain – Eukarya
The domain Eukarya is characterized by each cell having a nucleus and membrane bound organelles like mitochondria. These organelles set this group apart from prokaryotes which do not have a true nucleus. This group of organisms include protists (like the red algae, Mastocarpus papillatus), fungi (like Cordyceps subsessilis), animals (like the Yeti Crab), and plants (like Actinidia deliciosa).

Kingdom - Plantae
Kiwifruit are categorized in the kingdom Plantae because they are multicellular and have cell walls made of cellulose. These cell walls allow for a large amount of structural support and rigidity. Plantae organisms are also mostly autotrophic and generate their energy via photosynthesis (which can be explored on the Nutrition page). Another example of a plant is the Juniper tree, Juniperus communis L..

Phylum – Magnoliophyta
Actinidia deliciosa is classified in this phylum because like all Magnoliophytas, it is a true flowering plant that produces a protected seed containing an endosperm. These types of plants utilize a vascular system for nutrient and water transport. This phylum is more commonly known as the Angiospermae and another example of an Angiosperm is the Common Blue Violet, Viola sororia.

This phylogenetic tree shows the taxonomic breakdown of Actinidia deliciosa from Domain to Plant Group.


Class – Magnoliopsida

The class Magnoliopsida is characterized by being dicots. This means that the plants have a net-like leaf venation, a flower that parts in 4’s or 5’s, and more importantly, a seed that contains two cotyledons. Kiwifruit shares this class with Carica papaya.

Order – Ericales
The kiwifruit are classified in this order because of their weakly fused flower petals with radial symmetry. A thin seed coat, capsule fruit, and common symbiotic relationship with fungi also allows for A. deliciosa to be grouped in the Ericales.Phylogenetic Tree for Ericales - Tree provided in academic journal by Arne A. Anderberg, Catarina Rydin and Mari Kallersjo

This phylogenetic tree shows the relationship of Actinidia plants to others that are also classified in the order of Ericales. These findings are molecular based and created by Arne A. Anderberg, Catarina Rydin and Mari Kallersjo in an article of the American Journal of Botany.








Hanging Kiwifruit Cluster - Photo by Jocelyn Winword

Family – Actinidiaceae
Kiwifruit are categorized in this group because they are a woody vine. Actinidiaceae consists of woody vines, shrubs, and trees that are native to Asia, Central America and South America. These plants also have a simple, spiral arrangement of leaves.

Genus – Actinidia
This name is given to plants that are tough and hardy. The word "actinidia" derives from a Greek word meaning "difficult" or "hard" and therefore is very suiting for kiwifruit. The vine and skin of the kiwifruit are extremely tough, resistant, strong and hardy.

Species – A. deliciosa
Kiwifruit's final classification is given for its fruit. The species name, "deliciosa", derives from the Greek word meaning "luxury" or "luxurious" and refers to the luscious taste of the green, fleshy fruit.

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