Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Dcne.

chocolate-vine

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Chocolate-vine is a twining vine from Korea and Japan. It has distinctive, five-"fingered" compound leaves with notched tips. Its brown flowers give it its "chocolate" name. This fast-growing vine can become invasive. Its sausage-shaped fruits are edible, though apparently taste bad.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), forest edges, forests, meadows and fields, ridges or ledges

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
Growth form
the plant is a liana (i.e., a woody plant with a vine-like growth form)
Leaf type
the leaf blade is compound (i.e., made up of two or more discrete leaflets
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
Leaf duration
  • the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
  • the leaves remain green all winter
armature on plant
the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Bark texture
  • the bark of an adult plant is ridged or plated
  • the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
Twig winter color
  • brown
  • gray
  • red
Bud scale number
there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Bud scale number
    there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
    Bud scar shape (Fraxinus)
    NA
    Collateral buds
    there are no collateral buds on the sides of the branches
    Superposed buds
    there are no superposed buds on the branch
  • Flowers
    Enlarged sterile flowers
    there are no enlarged sterile flowers on the plant
    Flower petal color
    NA
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Hairs on ovary (Amelanchier)
    NA
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Number of pistils
    3
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes only one cycle of petals or sepals
    Petal appearance
    • NA
    • the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are separate
    Sepal cilia (Ilex)
    NA
    Stamen number
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    • NA
    • purple
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    • the fruit is a follicle (has one ovary that splits along one side to release the seeds)
    • the fruit is an aggregate (composed of multiple fused ovaries from one flower)
    Nut with spines (Fagaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    there are no wings on the fruit
  • Glands or sap
    Stalked glands on fruit (Rosa)
    NA
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is a liana (i.e., a woody plant with a vine-like growth form)
  • Leaves
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is rounded
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    Leaf blade edges (Acer)
    NA
    Leaf blade hairs
    NA
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blade is orbicular (roughly circular, as wide as long)
    Leaf blade texture
    • the leaf blade is coriaceous (has a firm, leathery texture)
    • the leaf blade is herbaceous (has a leafy texture)
    Leaf duration
    • the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
    • the leaves remain green all winter
    Leaf lobe tips (Quercus)
    NA
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk nectaries
    there are no nectaries on the leaf stalk
    Leaf teeth
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf teeth hairs (Carya)
    NA
    Leaf type
    the leaf blade is compound (i.e., made up of two or more discrete leaflets
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf is palmately compound with more than three leaflets
    • the leaf is palmately compound with three leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • edges of forests
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • ridges or ledges
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor, or it has an unpleasant or repellant odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Aerial roots
    the plant has no aerial roots
    Bark texture
    • the bark of an adult plant is ridged or plated
    • the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
    Branch brittleness (willows only)
    NA
    Branch cross-section
    the branch is circular in cross-section, or it has five or more sides, so that there are no sharp angles
    First-year cane (Rubus)
    NA
    Twig papillae (Vaccinium species only)
    NA
    Twig winter color
    • brown
    • gray
    • red
    Wings on branch
    the branch does not have wings on it
    armature on plant
    the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Genus

Akebia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Dcne. E

chocolate-vine. CT, MA; also reported from RI by George (1992), but specimens are unknown. Roadsides, forest fragments, open ledges, waste areas, fields.

Akebia trifoliata Koidz. Akebia ×‌pentaphylla (Makino) Makino is a rare chocolate-vine hybrid known from MA. It is similar to A. quinata but shows leaves with 3–5 leaflets that have prominent crenations along the margins. Akebia quinata, on the other hand, has leaves with (3–) 5 (–7) leaflets that have entire to undulate margins (rarely with 1 or 2 obscure teeth).