A Northland woman has discovered what could be the ultimate Kiwi icon growing in her backyard.
While picking fruit during the weekend she found something that looked exactly like a kiwi — albeit a slightly fuzzy green one — perched on a branch of her feijoa tree.
The grower of this combination of two great Kiwi icons wanted to remain anonymous, lest her garden be invaded by souvenir hunters, but she did let neighbour Karli Thomas take a photo.
''If I hadn't seen it myself I would've thought it had been Photoshopped. It's a perfect freak of nature.''
Thomas surmised the feiwi — or possibly the kijoa — had come about when a feijoa had started growing upwards instead of downwards, with gravity bending the fruit over until it just happened to rest on a branch.
The stem looks like a beak, the bulbous fruit resembles a kiwi's body, and the sepals (part of the feijoa flower) look like feet.
''I've always thought feijoas were more Kiwi than kiwifruit. This proves it,'' Thomas said.
For all its Kiwi-ness the feijoa is a relatively recent import to New Zealand.
It originates in South America and was introduced to Europe and North America around 1900 and New Zealand in the 1920s.
Alternative names include pineapple guava and guavasteen.
The feijoa is part of the Myrtaceae family of plants, along with pohutukawa, mānuka and bottlebrush, making it vulnerable to myrtle rust.
However, in Northland it faces more immediate threats from the guava moth and a fungal disease called anthracnose.
Kiwifruit originate from China and were introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th century, when they were known as Chinese gooseberries.