Akebia, Five-Leaf Akebia, Raisin Vine, White-Flowered Chocolate Vine ‘Shirobana’

View this plant in a garden


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


Unknown – Tell us


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown – Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown – Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama

Lafayette, California

Washington, Illinois

Madison, Mississippi

Hayesville, North Carolina

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Portland, Oregon(2 reports)

Salem, Oregon

Summerville, South Carolina

Plano, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Locust Dale, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia(2 reports)

Bothell, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

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Is Chocolate Vine Invasive: Getting Rid Of Chocolate Vine In Gardens

When a plant has a luscious name like “chocolate vine,” you may think you can never grow too much of it. But growing chocolate vine in gardens can be a problem and getting rid of chocolate vines a bigger one. Is chocolate vine invasive? Yes, it is a very invasive plant. Read on for information about how to control chocolate vine in your backyard or garden.

Is Chocolate Vine Invasive?

Only gardeners new to chocolate vine need to ask: “Is chocolate vine invasive?” Once you’ve grown it, you know the answer. Chocolate vine (Akebia quinata) is a tough woody plant that presents a serious ecological threat to native plants.

This vigorous vine will climb trees or shrubs by twining, but absent supports, it will grow as a dense groundcover. It quickly becomes a thick, tangled mass that overwhelms and chokes out neighboring plants.

Managing Akebia Chocolate Vines

Managing Akebia chocolate vines is difficult because of how tough they are and how rapidly they spread. This vine grows happily in shade, partial shade and full sun. It sails through droughts and survives freezing temperatures. In short, it can and does thrive in many different habitats.

Chocolate vines grow quickly, shooting up to 40 feet in one growing season. The vine produces fruit with seeds that are disbursed by birds. But chocolate vine in gardens more often spreads by vegetative means. Every piece of stem or root left in the ground can grow.

It’s easier to talk about managing Akebia chocolate vines than to fully eradiacate them. Getting rid of chocolate vines is possible, however, using manual, mechanical and chemical control methods. If you are wondering exactly how to control chocolate vine, you have a few options.

If chocolate vine in gardens has developed into scattered infestations, try using manual and mechanical methods first. Pull out groundcover vines by hand, then dispose of them carefully.

If your chocolate vines have climbed into trees, your first step is to sever the vine trunks at ground level. This kills the portion of the vine above the cut. You’ll need to start getting rid of chocolate vine rooted portions by pruning them repeatedly as they grow back, using a weed whip.

How to control chocolate vine once and for all? Unfortunately, taking out chocolate vines in gardens entirely means you may need to use pesticides and herbicides. Using systemic herbicides might be the most practical way of killing chocolate vines. If you first cut the vines then apply concentrated systemic herbicide to the rooted stumps, you can deal with the infestation.

Snapping and crunching beneath my boots, beech mast coats the road like praline brittle on The Great British Bake Off. It’s an abundant year for the beech, the pulverised seeds revealing their creamy fat-laden contents, food for squirrels, mice, rats and birds. The cracking sounds, the fallen leaves, the scent of autumn bring memories of childhood racing back.

Last year’s mild winter and this summer’s drawn-out warmth, have resulted in many of my garden plants being brimful of seed. I fill paper bags from the heads of spiky sea holly, starry astrantia, allium, campion and poppy. With their chaff blown away, the cleaned seeds will rest in a drawer till next spring’s sowing.

Berries glow orange-red on fleshy arum stalks like sinister corn on the cob – poisonous lords and ladies shining among the dying leaves of the shaded border. The long summer has resulted in so much plenty. Down little lanes the bramble thickets are scalloped out where bodies have pressed in to gather blackberries from their arching vines. The early October half-term was called “blackberry week” in north-east England, a time for the family to go out gathering fruit for pies and winter stores of jams.

The most bizarre fruit I have seen this autumn was on a climbing plant in the Cumbrian garden of Winderwath. Plump and oval, the shape of a Cornish pasty, its mottled amethyst skin had split open to reveal a white fibrous pulp studded with black seeds. An Asian plant, Akebia quinata, it is called the chocolate vine because of its springtime vanilla-scented flowers.

This edible curiosity is cultivated for food in Japan. It is hard to believe that this large fat fruit is produced from such small purple flowers. It needs to be cross-pollinated by a different clone, which is one reason why the fruit is less often seen, and it also needs a hot summer.

Maybe I should have tried it when offered, but I balked at eating this vividly coloured alien-looking fruit, preferring to stick with the sweetly tart blackberries of the hedgerows.

Twitter: @cottagegardener

If you love chocolate and its warm aroma, grow these chocolate scented flowers. These plants are easy to grow in both the garden beds and pots.

If you love chocolate, chocolate scented flowers and plants are must-have in your garden. Several plants and flowers that smell like chocolate or with their chocolate brown color can be a good addition to your chocolate garden. Plant these perennials/annuals in the garden or in containers on your patio, balcony or rooftop garden where you can enjoy the fragrance of chocolate issued by the pleasant wind.

1. Chocolate Daisy

It is also known as the chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) due to its delicious chocolate like smell. It is a yellow-flowering perennial nectar plant that not only smells good to humans, but is also an allurement for bees, bumblebees, and butterflies.

2. Chocolate Cosmos

Chocolate cosmos adorn itself with amazing deep brown or chocolate colored flowers that emit a smell of rich chocolate. This perennial grows up to 30 inches tall in the full sun to partial shade position. It enjoys a rich, moist soil and is hardy warm temperate and subtropical climates under USDA zones 8 to 10. You can expect a chocolate scent to be the strongest in the early evening after a warm summer day. It is a drought-tolerant plant and easy to grow.

3. Black Salsify

As garden a plant, the Black salsify (Scorzonera hispanica) is too little known since most appreciate only the edible lower part of the plant, namely the root. Its dandelion-like large yellow blooms emanate a soft delicate odor reminiscent of chocolate. The fragrance is most intense in morning hours and from the afternoon it subsides.

4. Carolina Allspice (Sweetshrub)

Carolina allspice is a shrub that doesn’t exceed the height of 2-3 m, you can also grow it in containers. This amazing plant is not only useful for its fragrant flowers that smell like chocolate but also for foliage that emit a cinnamon-like odor. It also produces an edible and delicious spice. Just snip off its twigs and allow them to dry out in the sun, then smash up the bark and use it like cinnamon.

5. Chocolate Mint

Grow chocolate mint in a container or on the ground to add a hint of minty chocolate odor to your garden and food. This perennial grows well in USDA zones 3 to 9b. Plant in partial sun but beware when you plant it directly on the ground as it can be invasive.

6. Chocolate Orchid

Sharry baby orchid is a sweet chocolate scented orchid. It is one plant that can bring the chocolate smell in your room. Place this plant in a well-lit spot away from intense direct sunlight that is high in humidity. Grow it indoors, on an east-facing window where it would receive soft morning sun would be perfect. Also, place the plant in a tray of pebbles filled with water to increase the humidity.

7. Chocolate Vine (Akebia Quinata)

This vigorous perennial vine is famous for its chocolate scented flowers. Its fruits are edible too and you can also grow it in pots. The unusual flowers look amazing and bloom prolifically in full sun to partial shade.

Chocolate Garden Plants: Creating A Garden With Plants That Smell Like Chocolate

Chocolate gardens are a delight to the senses, perfect for gardeners who enjoy the taste, color and smell of chocolate. Grow a chocolate themed garden near a window, pathway, porch or outdoor seating where people congregate. Most “chocolate plants” grow well in either full sun or partial shade. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow a chocolate themed garden.

Chocolate Garden Plants

The best part of designing chocolate gardens is choosing the plants. Here is a selection plants that smell like chocolate or have a rich, chocolaty color or taste:

  • Chocolate cosmos – Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) combines the color and fragrance of chocolate in one plant. The flowers bloom all summer on tall stems and make excellent cut flowers. It is considered a perennial in USDA zones 8 through 10a, but it is usually grown as an annual.
  • Chocolate flower – Chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) has a strong chocolate fragrance early in the morning and on sunny days. This yellow, daisy-like flower attracts bees, butterflies and birds to the garden. A Native American wildflower, chocolate flower is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 11.
  • Heuchera – Heuchera ‘Chocolate Veil’ (Heuchera americana) has dark chocolate-colored foliage with purple highlights. White flowers rise above the large, scalloped leaves in late spring and early summer. ‘Chocolate Veil’ is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9.
  • Himalayan honeysuckle – Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) is a shrub that grows up to 8 feet tall. The dark maroon to brown flowers are followed by berries that have a chocolate-caramel flavor. It can become invasive. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 11.
  • Columbine – ‘Chocolate Soldier’ columbine (Aquilegia viridiflora) has richly colored, purple-brown flowers that bloom from late spring through early summer. They have a delightful scent, but they don’t smell like chocolate. ‘Chocolate Soldier’ is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.
  • Chocolate mint – Chocolate mint (Mentha piperata) has a minty-chocolate fragrance and taste. For maximum flavor, harvest the plant in late spring and summer when it is in full bloom. The plants are highly invasive and should only be grown in containers. Chocolate mint is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.

Some of these plants are hard to find in local garden centers and nurseries. Check nursery catalogs both online and offline in you can’t find the plant you want locally.

Designing Chocolate Gardens

Learning how to grow a chocolate themed garden is not difficult. When you are creating a chocolate garden theme, make sure to follow the growing conditions of the chocolate garden plants you have chosen. It is preferable that they share the same of similar conditions.

The care of your chocolate garden will also depend on the chosen plants, as requirements for watering and fertilizing will differ. Therefore, those that share the same needs will offer the best results.

A chocolate garden theme is a delight to the senses and a pleasure to tend, making it well worth a little extra effort to obtain the plants.

Akebia: Chocolate Vine

Facts: Akebia

Family: Lardizabalaceae

Genus: Akebia – uh-KEE-bee-uh

Common: Chocolate Vine or Five-leaf Akebia

Origin: Native to Japan, Korea and China

Characteristics: A group of 4-5 species of vining plants.

Delicate-looking lightly scented flowers in pendulous clusters bloom in April. Male and female flowers are borne in the same cluster. Flowers have no real petals; instead their sepals look like petals and come in dusky purple, pink, pale yellow or white.

Leaves are palmate and are 2-5″ across. In mild winters leaves stay on the plant in winter, but most Portland winters cause defoliation.

Fruit is really interesting! Blue or pink pods are up to 5 inches long. Open them up and find a roll of white pulp full of black seeds. The pulp is described as ‘tropical tasting’ and is used to make jelly and juice. Plant two different varieties for fruit production.

Size: Vines attach by twining and grow very fast, producing as much as 20 feet of new growth in a year. It should be maintained with yearly pruning and kept in place.

Grows 20-40′ tall.

Culture: Sun, part shade or shade. Bounces back easily from pruning. Provide a sturdy trellis, arbor for the vine to climb on.

Hardy to Zone 5, -20f to -30f

Problems: Akebia has become a naturalized weed in the eastern United States, but has not performed the same way in the west. Still, the plant should be kept in place with regular pruning.

Plants in the nursery are prone to problems with powdery mildew, but the disease is much less prevalent in a garden setting.

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