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A very healthy climber, appreciated for its lovely elliptical leaves, ubiquitous chocolate scent with small dangling pink-brown blooms, and occasional seed-pods (edible)... and particularly for its long lasting foliage; can be used in a variety of ways for facade greening. Easy to care for, little pruning necessary. Ideal for high greening, drainpipeslarge walls, canopies / 'green roofs' and so on...  >>> Price             

Also called  "chocolate vine," "five-leaf chocolate vine," and "five-leaf akebia" (Latin: Akebia quinata // trifoliata).

Akebia Flowers
Akebia Flowers

To thrive...

Akebia needs a sunny to semi-shady location ~ warm and somewhat protected from wind. Give it nutrient-rich, sandy-humic, well-drained soil, and a regular water supply. Distance between plants: 1 - 2.5 m  >> > Price 

Properties and Pruning

This twiner's initial growth is rather slow, but with care will display dense foliage after 2-3 years, and can grow up to 10 m in height (in wind-protected zones also known to grow up to 20 m!); can also display an overhanging (cascading) habit. The lower part tends to be bare, which the akebia's ground runners can compensate. A good water supply and relatively mild weather will ensure that the foliage will last well into winter. In warmer climates, (e.g. wine-growing regions), the plant is semi-evergreen. Has red-brown flower tufts/clusters in early spring, only visible at close range. The bizarre, edible fruit develops - if at all - only in a warmer viticultural climate. Prune every 2-3 years to thin out; occasional rigorous pruning of single shoots in early spring will stimulate new shoots in the base area.

Climbing Aids for the Facade

We recommend a trellis system with vertical axes that are about 25 cm apart from each other. Horizontal axes would require the interlacing of shoots into the trellis by hand. See the bottom of the page for suitable cable systems. Go with medium or preferably, heavy / massive cable systems for high greening areas. Easy and light systems are good for potted plants and/or small areas.


Appropriate wire rope systems?

Please click the icon to see the full suitability chart

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

Greening facades with akebia quinata

More examples of how to use akebia for facade greening

Small wall trellis with akebia
Akebia on a wooden trellis
Akebia on a facade
Chocolate vine on the corner of a house
Akebia on an industrial building
Twiner akebia quinata on a 'WBS-70' (slab construction from 1970s East Germany)
Small akebia on a half-timbered house
Greened downpipe flanked by vertical wire ropes
Chocolate vine (A. quinata) on a house entrance
Small chocolate vine (Akebia quint), Otto Niemeyer-Holstein studio and garden, Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania
Building greening with akebia and other twiners on an apartment complex, Leipzig / Saxony

What else can be greened with akebia?

Balconies, pergolas, pillars, free-standing poles/masts, and other objects (like fences) can be greened with the chocolate vine... 

Akebia on a balcony post
Akebia on balcony posts with wire ropes
Akebia climbing a trellis net on a wooden post
Balcony-greening with akebia
Greening of a wooden pergola with akebia
Steel-pipe pergola with akebia
Fence with choclate vine
An akebia-roof for a rubbish bin site
Akebia on a free-standing garden arch

Botanical Features

Here you can see akebia's leaves, fruits, blossoms, autumn-colouring, appearance in the winter months, and her budding in spring.

Leaves of 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 strong single stems are unusual
Autumn colouring of the leaves is rather rare
Lasting frost makes akebia drop its leaves
Akebia with buds in spring

Wire Rope Systems for Akebia

Please click on a graphic to call up its trellis profile!

  green = suitable               orange= of limited suitability              red = unsuitable