The greatest asset of Actinidia kolomikta, a member of the kiwi fruit genus, is its leaves. The leaf colouration on young plants is not so pronounced as on an older plant which is growing in sun or partial shade, in soil where the roots can get a good deep run.
The colour of the leaf changes randomly during the growing season to deep pink or white. Some are metallic shades, but in all cases the colour only shows on the upper surface of the leaf. Beneath, the original green pigment remains with red venation.
Often starting to colour from the leaf tip back towards the petiole, some leaves will turn a completely separate colour, others only partially.
Growing on an east-facing wall of Inverleith House is the variety A. kolomikta var. gagnepainii, which was collected in Jilin Province, China, near the border with North Korea.
The vigorous shoots, when split open, reveal a chambered pithy core, brown in colour. This helps to provide flexible strength when buffeted by wind.