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Also known as Chocolate Vine, Akebia (lat. Akebia quinata and Akebia trifoliata). Very healthy climbing plant. Much appreciated for its filigree leaves and long lasting foliage. Low-maintenance, almost no pruning necessary, ideal for high greening, drainpipes, plant walls, canopies and so on..

Flowers of the akebia


A sunny to (semi-)shaded position, warm and preferably protected from wind. Sandy, well-drained loam with plenty of nutrients and humus and regular water provision. Distance from plant to plant: 1 - 2.5 mtrs. >>> Price

Characteristics and Pruning

This twiner's initial growth is rather slow, but with good care will display dense foliage after 2-3 years. Suckers can make up for the bare lower stems. A good watering regime and relatively mild weather will ensure the foliage will last well into winter. In warmer climates such as wine-growing regions, the plant is semi-evergreen.


Flower and Fruit

Red-brown clusters in early spring, only perceived from close-up. The bizarre, edible fruit develop - if at all - only in the warmer wine-growing regions.



Prune to thin out every 2-3 years; occasional rigorous pruning of single shoots in early spring will encourage new shoots from the base.

Climbing Plant Support Systems

Best to use a vertical system with wire ropes at intervals of approx. 25cm. Horizontal wires require weaving in of the shoots. See below for suitable systems. Medium or Heavy Duty Growth Support Systems or better massive systems for high greening areas. Light systems may be suitable for pot plants.

Appropriate wire rope systems?

Please click the icon for showing the full suitability chart

Akebia quinata in spring, Potsdam / Brandenburg, Castle garden Sanssouci
Akebia quinata as potted plant
Akebia on wire rope with intermediate anchors
Akebia on trellis cables townhall in Lichtenberg / Bavaria

Greening facades with Akebia

Here you can find pictures showing Akebia on different facades

Small wall trellis with akebia
Akebia on a wooden trellis
Akebia on a facade
Chocolate vine on a corner of a house
Akebia on an industrial building
Twiner Akebia quinata on a prefabricated building WBS-70
Small Akebia on a half-timbered house
Green drainpipe with vertical wire ropes
Chocolate vine A. quinata on an entrance
Small chocolate vine Akebia quinata ind Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Greenery with Akebia and other twiners on arbours in Leipzig / Saxony

Greening Objects with Akebia

With Akebia balconies, pergolas, posts and masts, and fences can be greened as shown on the following pictures.

Akebia on a post of a balcony
Akebia on balcony posts with wire ropes
Akebia climbing a wooden post on a trellis-net
Balcony-greenery with Akebia
Greening of a wooden pergola with Akebia
Steel pergola with Akebia
Fence with choclate vine
Greening up a canopy of a rubbish dump with Akebia
Akebia on a free standing garden/plant arch

Botanical Features

This photo gallery shows leaves, fruits, blossom, autumn-coloring, phenotype in winter and budding in spring

Leaves of a Akebia quinata (five leaved)
Leaves of Akebia trifoliata (three leaved)
Blossoms of five leaved Akebia
Blossoms of three leaved Akebia
Half-ripe fruits of Akebia quinata
Ripe fruits of Akebia quinata
Trunk of an old Akebia - such solid stems are unusual though
Autumn coloring of the leaves is really rare
Lasting frost makes Akebia drop their leaves
Akebia with buds in spring

Appropriate Wire Rope System for Akebia

Please click on the graphic illustrations for details!

suitable             = of limited suitability             = unsuitable