Akebia quinata

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Akebia quinata
Akebia quinata02.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Lardizabalaceae
Genus: Akebia
A. quinata
Binomial name
Akebia quinata

Rajania quinata Houtt.

Akebia quinata, commonly known as chocolate vine, five-leaf chocolate vine,[1] or five-leaf akebia, is a shrub that is native to Japan, China and Korea, and invasive in the eastern United States from Georgia to Michigan to Massachusetts.[2][3][4]


Akebia quinata grows to 10 m (30 ft) or more in height and has compound leaves with five leaflets. The flowers are clustered in racemes and are chocolate-scented, with three or four sepals. The fruits are sausage-shaped pods which contain edible pulp.[2][5] The gelatinous placentation contains seeds surrounded with white pulp, that has a sweet flavor.[citation needed]

Local names[edit]

In China, A. quinata is referred to as 木通 – mù tōng (Pinyin) or mu tung (Wade-Giles) – meaning "woody thoroughgoing (plant)". It is also occasionally known as 通草 – tōng cǎo (Pinyin) or tung tsao (Wade-Giles) – meaning "thoroughgoing grass".


The fruit contains a sweet soft pulp resembling a white dragonfruit, eaten primarily in Japan as a seasonal delicacy. The rind, with a slight bitter taste, is used as vegetable, e.g., stuffed with ground meat and deep-fried. The vines are traditionally used for basket-weaving.[6]

The stem contains approximately 30% potassium salts thus causing a diuretic action.[7][unreliable medical source?]


Akebia prefers sandy soils with good drainage, and regular watering, though it is drought-resistant.[8] In some areas the plant is an invasive species to be avoided.[9][10]


'Akebia' comes from the Japanese vernacular name, 'akebi' (アケビ).[11]

'Quinata' means 'divided into five', and is presumably a reference to its lobed leaves.[11]


Fun Facts[edit]

The Milkfruit used in the animated show "The Dragon Prince" is based on this vine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 345. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via Korea Forest Service. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Levy-Yamamori, Ran; Ran Levy; Gerard Taaffe (2004). Garden Plants of Japan. Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-650-7. Retrieved 2009-04-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Akebia quinata". Flora of China. Retrieved 2009-04-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Flora of North America vol 3". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2018-05-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Decaisne, Joseph. Archives du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle 1: 195, pl. 13a. 1839". Biodiversitylibrary.org. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2018-05-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ taken from ja:アケビ (2011.11.3(Thu) 12:08)
  7. ^ Reid, Daniel (2001), "A Handbook of Chinese Healing Herbs", Tuttle Publishing, ISBN 962-593-988-1. Retrieved on 2009-05-20.
  8. ^ https://www.gardenia.net/plant/akebia-quinata-chocolate-vine
  9. ^ https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/369
  10. ^ https://www.thespruce.com/grow-chocolate-vine-1316033
  11. ^ a b Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 40, 324

External links[edit]