Akebia quinata (also called Chocolate vine)
A vigorous twining, semi-evergreen climbing shrub grown for it's richly coloured, chocolate scented, flowers, which appear in spring. This plant looks especially beautiful when grown over an arch or support, so you can see the sun shine through the leaves and flowers. If cross-pollinated by another plant, large sausage-shaped fruits may form.
Flowers in spring and purple-tinged green leaves in autumn.
Habit - twining, scrambling. H&S: up to 12m.
Stems - slender, smooth, brown.
Leaves - mid-green, palmate or trifolate, developing purple tinges in autumn. May be evergreen in mild winters.
Flowers - racemes of cup-shaped richly red-purple female and smaller male flowers.
Full sun to partial shade.
Any good garden soil.
Established dormant plants are reputed to be hardy down to about -20c but younger specimens may suffer in very cold weather. Young growth can be frost tender.
Prune back after flowering to maintain shape. Resents disturbance once established. Generally pest and disease free.
By seed, softwood cuttings or layering .
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