Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine)

Scientific Name

Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Decne.

Common Names

Chocolate Vine, Five-leaf Chocolate Vine, Five-leaf Akebia


Akebia micrantha, Rajania quinata

Scientific Classification

Family: Lardizabalaceae
Genus: Akebia


Color: Reddish-purple
Bloom Time: Summer


Akebia quinata is a semi-evergreen climber with bright green leaves composed of 5 elliptic or obovate leaflets notched at the tips. It can grow up to 40 feet (12 m) at a fast rate. Fragrant, reddish-purple flowers, with larger females at the base of the raceme, are sometimes followed by purple fruits up to 4 inches (10 cm) long.

Akebia quinata - Chocolate Vine
Photo via plants.connon.ca


USDA hardiness zone 5a to 9b: from −20 °F (−28.9 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Chocolate Vine is a light feeder and doesn't require supplemental flower fertilizer. You can provide trace nutrients for vines growing in poor soil by mulching with compost or well-rotted manure.

The Chocolate Vine will climb on supports or scramble up to 40 feet (12 m). Because of its vigorous growth habit, many gardeners prune the chocolate vine back to ground level in late winter to keep it in check. You can also lightly prune the vine to help it look tidy after flowering.

Practice good stewardship of the land by not allowing Chocolate Vine to escape your landscape into neighboring woodland areas. In some areas, it has displaced native plants with dense vegetation. The vines have the potential to choke out small trees when left untended in wild areas. See more at How to Grow and Care for Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinata)


Native to Japan, China, and Korea, and naturalized in the eastern United States from Georgia to Michigan to Massachusetts.



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