Thursday, February 2, 2012

Akebia

Akebia

Akebia longiracemosa
Also called Akebia quinata var. longeracemosa. A fast growing, semi-evergreen vine native to mountains of southeastern China and Taiwan where it is rare.
The foliage is very similar to Akebia quinata but smaller in size. The semi-leathery, oblong leaflets are up to 3.8 x 1.5 inches in size.
The reddish-purple flowers are borne on hanging racemes up to 8 inches in length.
They are followed by reddish-purple, oblong fruits, up to 2.8 x 0.8 inches in size.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in partial shade on just about any well drained soil.

Akebia pentaphylla
A semi-evergreen vine, reaching a maximum size of 40 x 40 feet, that is native to Japan.
The palmate leaves are composed of 3 to 5 oval leaflets, up to 3 inches in length.
The foliage is mid-green, turning purplish during winter.
The fragrant, purple flowers are borne on clusters up to 5 inches in length, during early spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Akebia quinata ( Chocolate Vine )
A very fast growing, deciduous to semi-evergreen ( zone 7 + ) vine, reaching up to 40 x 40 feet, that is a widespread native of eastern China, Korea and Japan. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 20 feet. They can be used to cover a wire fence or make an excellent foliage screen.
The palmate leaves are composed of 5 ( rarely 3 or 7 ) rounded leaflets, up to 5 x 1 ( rarely over 2.5 )inches in size. The foliage is deep green above, blue-green beneath.
The fragrant, reddish-purple flowers are borne on racemes, up to 5 inches in length, during late spring.
2 varieties will be needed to produce fruit since they are not self fertile and will need cross pollination. The juicy, purple fruits, up to 7 x 3 inches, are eaten fresh and contain a tasty pulp. They make an excellent drink when mixed with lemon juice and also make a good jelly.
The dried leaves can also be used for tea.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on most acidic to neutral, well drained soils. It is moderately drought tolerant.
Propagation is easy from seed, root cuttings and layering. It will rapidly regrow if cut back to the ground.

* photos taken on April 13 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 14 2012 in Columbia, MD


* photos taken on Oct 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* historical archive photo


'Shirobana'
White flowers and fruit; otherwise identical to species.

'Variegata'
Attractive variegated foliage, otherwise similar to species.

Akebia trifoliata
A semi-evergreen vine, reaching a maximum size of 40 x 40 feet, that is a widespread native to southern, central and eastern China and Japan.
The leaves are composed of 3 oblong leaflets, up to 3.2 x 2.4 inches in size. The foliage is bronze at first, turning to glossy deep green. The foliage turns to intense red during autumn.
The deep red flowers, up to 0.7 inches across, are borne during late spring.
They are followed by tasty, edible, oblong fruits up to 5 inches in length.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

* photos taken on June 25 2017 in Columbia, MD

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