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chocolate vine

Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Dcne.

USDA PLANTS Symbol: AKQU
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vine


Synonym(s): fiveleaf akebia

Appearance
Akebia quinata is an invasive deciduous to evergreen climbing or trailing vine that invades forested areas throughout the eastern United States. The twining vines are green when young, turning brown as they age.
Foliage
The leaves are palmately compound with up to five, 1.5-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) long, oval leaflets.
Flower
Flowering occurs in the mid-spring, when small, purple to red, fragrant flowers develop.
Fruit
Fruit, which are rarely produced, are purple seed pods that contain white pulp and small black seeds.
Ecological Threat
Akebia quinata is able to invade forested habitats because it is shade tolerant. The dense mat of vines formed can displace native understory species. It can also climb into, smother, and kill small trees and shrubs. Akebia quinata is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into the United States in 1845 as an ornamental.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas - National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas - Plant Conservation Alliance
Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service