The kiwi grows both in a vigorous or woody vine and in a climbing shrub reaching a 9-metre height. Its alternate leaves, decidua and largely petiolated, are oval, almost circular.

The fruit has russet-brown skin densely covered with short, stiff hair, is capped at the base with a prominent, 5-pointed calyx when young but this shrivels and dehisces from the mature fruit.

The flesh, firm until fully ripe, is glistening, juicy and exquisite, bright-green, except for the white, succulent centre from which radiate many fine, pale lines. Between these lines are scattered minute seeds, unnoticeable when eating the fruit, and its taste varies from to subacid to highly acid.