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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Lardizabalaceae | Akebia

1. Akebia quinata (Houttuyn) Decaisne, Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. 1: 195, fig. 1(a-c). 1839.

Chocolate-vine, five-leaf

Rajania quinata Houttuyn, Nat. Hist. 11: 366, plate 75, fig. 1. 1779

Plants , deciduous to semi-evergreen, climbing to 12 m, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 1.6-12.5 cm; leaflets mostly 5, petiolules 0.2-2.2 cm, blades oblong to ovate-elliptic, 0.7-8.2 × 0.4-4.2 cm, base rounded, margins entire, apex retuse. Inflorescences pendent, 4.5-12 cm; pedicel with basal bracts. Flowers fragrant. Staminate flowers 4-15 per inflorescence, 1.2-1.6 cm diam.; sepals oblong to ovate or elliptic, 5-9 mm; stamens 4-5 mm. Pistillate flowers (0-)1-5 per inflorescence, 2-3 cm diam.; sepals elliptic to ovate or nearly orbiculate, 10 16­mm; pistils 3-7, 1 or more maturing. Follicles glaucous, violet to dark purple, oblong, 5-15 cm. Seeds black, ovoid, embedded in whitish pulp.

Flowering spring, fruiting fall (Sep-Oct). Waste places, open woodlands; 0-400 m; introduced; Conn., Ga., Ind., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., Va., W.Va.; native, Asia.

No specimens are known from Rhode Island.

A fast-growing, invasive vine whose aggressiveness may at times approach that of Lonicera japonica , Akebia quinata is occasionally planted as an ornamental; it is of more botanical than horticultural interest. A greenish to whitish flowered variant, known from Asia, is cultivated in North America. The edible, though allegedly insipid, fruits are apparently uncommon in cultivation; cross pollination appears to be necessary for their development (C. S. Sargent 1891).


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