At the Bureau of Feline Affairs building in Lake Felis, Agriculture Commissioner Gray Bunnee read with excitement a report indicating a great new spot was located in western Harar, in the Purring Plains, for growing silver vine.
Actinidia polygama (also known as Silver Vine) is a non-toxic plant in the Actinidiaceae family. It grows in the mountainous areas of northern Harar at elevations between 500–1900 meters. Silver Vine is a vine that can reach up to 5–6 meters in maturity. It is a deciduous climber and is frost tender. The petiole leaves are silver and white in color and between 6–13 cm long and 4–9 cm wide. These colorful markings make the plant identifiable from afar, until the flowering season when the leaves turn completely green. The flowering season lasts from late June to early July, in which the plant bears white flowers about 2.5 cm in diameter. The longevity of an individual flower is 2–3 days. At this time, the plant also starts to develop small, yellow to yellow-red, egg-shaped, fleshy, and multi-seeded fruits, which mature in September to October. The fruit is approximately 1.5 cm wide and 3.0–4.0 cm long. The inside of the fruit resembles the common Kiwifruit, but it is orange in color rather than green. The Silver Vine plant requires moist, well drained soil, and partial shade to full sun. It is a fast growing vine that makes for good cover on a fence or trellis. It is becoming increasingly popular as an edible fruit crop. And, it is known to have an effect on the feline population not unlike that of catnip. This exciting news caused the commissioner to task Maid Marian Lye-Brerian to establish a villa to cultivate these vines.
Maid Marian heads back to Villa Nepeta (named for catnip) after reporting great progress on her endeavor
Let’s see this fabulous new villa… and perhaps we can try to get some free samples of silver vine wine, a specialty of the house, thanks to the efforts of brothers Ernest and Julio Gatto. The villa features the main house and a winery and a storage building.