Rajania quinata Houtt.
Akebia quinata, commonly known as chocolate vine, five-leaf chocolate vine, or five-leaf akebia, is a shrub that is native to Japan, China and Korea, and invasive in the eastern United States from Georgia to Michigan to Massachusetts.
Akebia quinata grows to 10 m (30 ft) or more in height and has compound leaves with five leaflets. The flowers are clustered in racemes and are chocolate-scented, with three or four sepals. The fruits are sausage-shaped pods which contain edible pulp. The gelatinous placentation contains seeds surrounded with white pulp, that has a sweet flavor.
In China, A. quinata is referred to as 木通 – mù tōng (Pinyin) or mu tung (Wade-Giles) – meaning “woody thoroughgoing (plant)”. It is also occasionally known as 通草 – tōng cǎo (Pinyin) or tung tsao (Wade-Giles) – meaning “thoroughgoing grass”.
The fruit contains a sweet soft pulp resembling a white dragonfruit, eaten primarily in Japan as a seasonal delicacy. The rind, with a slight bitter taste, is used as vegetable, e.g., stuffed with ground meat and deep-fried. The vines are traditionally used for basket-weaving.
‘Akebia’ comes from the Japanese vernacular name, ‘akebi’ (アケビ).
‘Quinata’ means ‘divided into five’, and is presumably a reference to its lobed leaves.
Female flower and 5 male flowers in Mount Ibuki
- English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 345. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
- Levy-Yamamori, Ran; Ran Levy; Gerard Taaffe (2004). Garden Plants of Japan. Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-650-7. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- “Akebia quinata“. Flora of China. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- “Flora of North America vol 3”. Efloras.org. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
- “Decaisne, Joseph. Archives du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle 1: 195, pl. 13a. 1839”. Biodiversitylibrary.org. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
- taken from ja:アケビ (2011.11.3(Thu) 12:08)
- Reid, Daniel (2001), “A Handbook of Chinese Healing Herbs”, Tuttle Publishing, ISBN 962-593-988-1. Retrieved on 2009-05-20.
- Gledhill, David (2008). “The Names of Plants”. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 40, 324
- Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Dcne. (ITIS)
- Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Decne. Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (in Chinese) (in English)