Do you love kiwi? Kiwis are a unique and delicious fruit, with a lot of vitamin c, even more than lemons and oranges. Many people in their everyday life use this Chinese fruit. One of the special characteristics that the kiwi is known for is its fuzzy brown exterior.
Do you know why are kiwis hairy? Most people don’t know the answer to this question.
Are you one of them?
If your answer is yes, you’re on the right spot, as you’ll be getting all the reasons concerned with your query- why are kiwis hairy? What purpose does this serve? We will also discuss some of the hairy and hairless varieties of kiwi.
Stay tuned to learn more about this strange but fascinating fruit!
Why are kiwis hairy?
Like several other fruits, kiwis have a lot of hairs on their exterior surface called ‘trichomes .’These are actually multicellular hair-like extensions made up of two parts: the shaft and the root. The root is embedded in the kiwi’s skin, and the shaft protrudes from the surface. These hairs serve several purposes and are present on the kiwi’s exterior surface in a large variety that can be long and short.
But let me tell you, this is not something ‘very unique .’Kiwi is not the only one with a fuzzy exterior, there are lots of other fruits that are hairy, and the best example here can be “peaches” the only difference that can be seen between the both is the texture and length of the hair.
The peach fuzz is fine as compared to the kiwi hairs. That could be the reason why the peach fuzzy characteristic is not highlighted as much as kiwi’s do.
Now you’ll be wondering more about why are kiwis hairy? What are the possible reasons behind this fuzz? So, without further ado, let’s get right into the answer.
Reasons behind the Hairy Characteristics of Kiwi
There are two main reasons why kiwis are hairy; they are protected from pests and animals and draw moisture from the air. Now your questions must be: How?
But not to worry about that; we have details packed with factual information to get you all covered. So read one to know all about it.
Protection from Pests and Other Animals
The hair on the surface of kiwis acts as a physical barrier to deter pests and animals from eating the fruit. The hair makes it difficult for insects to lay their eggs on the fruit, which helps to reduce infestation. In warmer weather, insects don’t like fuzzy surfaces as it irritates their bodies. So, the hair on the kiwi surface is used for the defense mechanism.
We as humans have the sense to peel the hairy skin and eat the flesh available inside the fruit; unlike that, animals do not have this foresight. These hairs on the exterior of kiwi make it unpalatable for animals, and they are less likely to eat the fruit. Moreover, the acidic nature of kiwi and the cuts and scratches on its surface make it less likely to be eaten as a second feeding.
Draw Moisture from the Air
The number of hair on the kiwi’s surface depends on the moisture they need to draw from the air or protect them from the sunlight. For instance, kiwis that are grown in hot and arid regions have more hair as compared to the ones that are grown in cooler and wetter climates.
This is because the hair helps to protect the fruit from losing moisture to evaporation. So, you can say that kiwi hairs are moisture magnets.
The hairy exterior of kiwis also helps keep the fruit retain the moisture, and extreme weather will have a lesser impact on kiwi fruit. So the question you would be asking here is: how does the kiwi hair responsible for collecting moisture from the air?
Simple! The kiwi absorbs the dew collected on the hairy surface to maintain the moisture inside the fruit. Isn’t it interesting?
Are All Kiwis Hairy?
Are all kiwis hairy? The answer is ‘No.’
Hairless kiwis do exist. There are around 50 species, and some kiwi species depending on the landscape, climate zones, regions, and space, may not be hairy, including golden kiwi, hardy kiwi, purple kiwi, and Silver wine. Let’s discuss them in detail.
- Golden kiwi is similar to other kiwis, but the hairy part makes it different. On cutting, you will see a reddish-purple ring where the seed is located. Sometimes the ring is noticeable, but sometimes it is slightly visible.
- Purple kiwi and hardy kiwi have clear skin as they do not have hair.
- Silver wine kiwi is an orange color kiwi. It has become popular because it is hairless.
These kiwis are known as kiwi barries as it has the size of a large grape. Their skin is like hairy kiwis, i.e., smooth and green, and possesses the same taste and flavor as other kiwis. Hairless kiwis are much sweeter and more expensive than fuzzy ones. These may not be available commonly, but you can find them. If you fail to see them, peel off the skin and enjoy eating fuzzy kiwi.
The list of hairy kiwis is below:
Abbot kiwi: An oblong shape kiwi exists in medium size. The hair (fuzz) over the fruit is quite soft but long with green flesh.
Jenny kiwi: It is also egg-shaped but smaller than the fuzzy one. It is also in green color with lots of fuzz on its skin. Black seeds are present inside of it. The taste is sweet with a touch of tart to it.
Hayward kiwi: Hayward kiwi is the most common one. It has a flavor of strawberry in it. The flesh of Hayward is bright green. They have some short hairs over the skin. It is the popular one, and people love this one.
Mao Hua kiwi: This kiwi is thick and oval-shaped hair covering the skin of Mao Hua kiwi, varying from loose to tight. The flesh color is similar to other kiwis, i.e., green.
This was all about why are kiwis hairy! The furry exterior helps the fruit to retain moisture and protect it from extreme weather conditions. It also makes the kiwi unpalatable for animals so that they will not eat it.
However, the hairy characteristic benefits a lot in defending the kiwi, but for humans, it’s not recommended to eat the kiwi skin as it may hurt you. If you insist on eating the kiwi without removing the skin, we suggest you brush it thoroughly or remove the hair with the help of a blade.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new about kiwis. If you have some unique experiences regarding kiwis, share them with us in the comment section below.