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Akebia quinata

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Climber/Wall Shrub

Habit

Climbing

Fragrance

Flower

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

Purple in Spring

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Fruit

Pale Purple in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

8-12 metres

Ultimate spread

wider than 8 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

chocolate vine

Family

Lardizabalaceae


Akebia are vigorous twining, semi-evergreen climbing shrubs, with attractive palmate or trifoliate leaves and racemes of cup-shaped purplish female and smaller male flowers, followed by large, sausage-shaped fruits, if cross-pollinated by another clone

A. quinata is a climber with bright green leaves composed of five elliptic or obovate leaflets notched at the tips. Fragrant reddish-purple flowers, with larger females at the base of the raceme, are sometimes followed by purple fruits up to 10cm in length

Other common names

  • akebia

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

A climber that thrives with any good garden soil and aspect, but resents root disturbance

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or layering

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Wall-side Borders


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 11 after flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free