Akebia quintata
Akebia quintata
Chocolate Vine

Akebia quintata

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An unusual and vigorous plant, Akebia quinata is especially useful as a strong climber that will tolerate semi-shade. The borders of its attractive, rounded leaves take on a purple tint as the temperature drops. Any leaf loss in the winter will be replaced in spring when the distinctive burgundy flowers also appear. The scent emitted by these blooms explains why it is called the Chocolate Vine.

This attractive and vigorous climber hails from the Far East where the pulp of its fruit was eaten. When first introduced in Eastern North America it was used for basket weaving but now it is grown mainly for ornamental purposes and to prevent hillside soil erosion.


From March onwards, the chocolate vine produces its attractive flowers. If you have two plants of the same variety and a long, hot summer, you may expect the rather unusual sausage-shaped fruit

  • Well drained soil
  • All aspects
  • Full sun, partial shade

Position in a situation that offers good soil and a large surface to climb over such as a large wall with wires, an expanse of trellis or through an established hedge or tree. (Caution is needed with the seeds of the fruit which can cause throat problems.)


Subtly scented flowers with a chocolate, vanilla or nutmeg scent

Cottage Garden