Vigorously spreading, Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine) is a dainty semi-evergreen, twining, woody vine with dangling racemes of small, wine-red flowers with a spicy, chocolate fragrance in spring. The blooms stand out against the bright green foliage of elliptic leaflets which becomes purple flushed in cold weather. If the summer is long and warm, the flowers will give way to a crop of unusual, sausage-shaped, violet seedpods, 4 in. long (10 cm), which split open in fall to reveal small black seeds embedded in a whitish, edible pulp. An excellent climber for covering an arch or pergola where you can admire the flowers from below.

  • Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its noteworthy qualities.
  • Can reach 20-40 ft. (6-12 m). Grows rapidly and can suffocate shrubs or other vegetation if not kept in check.
  • Easily grown in most soils. Best in well-drained, sandy loams with regular moisture in full sun, part shade or heavy shade. Drought tolerant.
  • Deer resistant. Pest-free and disease-free.
  • Provides quick cover for trellises, fences, arbors, pergolas and walls. May also be used as a ground cover or to provide soil stabilization for banks. An excellent ground cover for shady areas and woodland gardens.
  • For best fruit production, plant more than one vine to facilitate good cross-pollination.
  • Prune as needed in late spring after flowers appear. May be cut to the ground to renovate.
  • Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or layering
  • Native to China, Korea, Japan
  • This plant is listed as a noxious weed in several Midwestern states and should not be moved or grown under conditions that would involve danger of dissemination.