Rajania quinata Houtt.
Akebia quinata, commonly known as chocolate vine, five-leaf chocolate vine, or five-leaf akebia, is a shrub that is native to Japan, China and Korea, and naturalized in the eastern United States from Georgia to Michigan to Massachusetts.
A. 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. The gelatinous placentation contains seeds that have a sweet flavor.
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 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.
A. quinata is listed in the National Pest Plant Accord list which identifies pest plants that are prohibited from sale, commercial propagation, and distribution across New Zealand.
‘Akebia’ comes from the Japanese vernacular name, ‘akebi’ (アケビ).
‘Quinata’ means ‘divided into five’, and is presumably a reference to its lobed leaves.
Female flower and 5 male flowers in Mount Ibuki
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- taken from ja:アケビ (2011.11.3(Thu) 12:08)
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