Chocolate Vine

Akebia trifoliata

Family: Lardizabalaceae
Genus: Akebia (a-KEE-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: trifoliata (try-foh-lee-AY-tuh) (Info)


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Maroon (Purple-Brown)

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:


North Fork, California

Belleview, Florida

Wilmington, North Carolina

Salem, Oregon

Belton, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Bellingham, Washington

Mountlake Terrace, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 5, 2015, edgeplot from Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Well behaved and moderate growing vine to about 20 feet (mine grows in light shade under high deciduous trees). Leaflets are larger and more attractive with some shade, and have a tropical look. Looks attractive all summer without supplemental watering. Recovers quickly after heavy pruning and does not spread aggressively like Akebia quinata. Deciduous in the Seattle area.


On Oct 1, 2011, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Can be pretty invasive. I ended up taking it out.


On May 3, 2007, Kiweed from Saratoga Springs, UT (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have one growing in a semi-shaded area on a lattice fence. Deciduous here, but bare branches (big, twining and woody) don't look scruffy like a clematis. Combine nicely with a clematis. Flowers only very faintly scented. Hard to notice from a distance, but striking up close. Leaves a light green color, some on new growth is tinted with red veining; very attractive foliage both up close and from distance. Branches twine around the lattice and themselves. Akebia quinata is reported invasive and destructive to natural forested habitatis...Since they are so closely related, I would be careful not to let it escape. If the sauge-shaped fruits develop, I would pick them (and eat?) to keep the seeds from spreading. One site reports "When planted with another specie of Akebia cross pollin... read more


On Mar 16, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Akebia trifoliata THREE-FINGER AKEBIA SEG (z5) (Fra)
"An elegant climber"(Hillier) with large 3-parted leaves, dark-purple flowers and pale violet sausage-shaped fruits. Sun-PSh/Med.moisture


On Jul 6, 2004, lauraxwayne from Washington, DC wrote:

This vine is highly invasive in the mid-Atlantic region. Chocolate Vine forms dense mats that crowd out native understory trees and shrubs.