White-Flowered Chocolate Vine, Five-Leaf Akebia, Raisin Vine 'Shirobana'

Akebia quinata

Family: Lardizabalaceae
Genus: Akebia (a-KEE-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: quinata (kwi-NAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Shirobana
Additional cultivar information:(aka Alba, White, White-flowered)
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Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


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

Locust Dale, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia (2 reports)

Bothell, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 27, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I've had to deal with this species in a garden where a neighbor had allowed it to climb a fence. It required endless attention. It grows with astonishing speed, and I was continually pulling up 12' runners that were already rooting at every node. It also twines about and strangles any woody plant it can reach. Untangling it was immensely time-consuming.

Its height is limited only by the height of its support. It can climb tall trees.

This vine has naturalized in 16 states and has been reported invasive of natural areas in 6. I know it's taken over hundreds of acres of woodland on the Biltmore estate in NC.


On Mar 6, 2012, Carolin54 from Raynham, MA wrote:

I had an antenna that was probably 20-30 feet high and very ugly. I planted an akebia vine to climb it and it went all the way to the top after about 3 years! It was beautiful! It only bloomed until I obtained an akebia of a different variety, the white one. And then the fruit came! Boy was that fun because it is so unusual! The taste is so sweet although it is somewhat sticky and very seedy. I give this plant a hardy thumbs up if you have a place for it to climb and enjoy something quite unusual. But as I said earlier, if you want fruit,, you need 2 varieties for them to pollinate.


On Mar 25, 2007, subuch from Lafayette, CA wrote:

One small slip nearly 20 years ago in our Zone 9a garden has resulted in a vine that periodically shows up here and there over an area about 200' x 50'. It spirals around any support, be it a post or another plant. True, it is beautiful, with its delicate leaves, wiry stems, exquisite and deliciously fragrant blossoms reminiscent of freesia, raspberry, and mignonette, and its occasional tasty blue fruit, but it has a tendency to becoming rampant. I have seen it smothering everything from a grape pergola to an air conditioner. One year it twined 40' up a neighbor's redwood tree.


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

Akebia quinata 'Shirobana' (Dec) (z5) (Fra)
Lovely cascades of fragrant white spring flowers are followed by white fruit on this vigorous (20-30') vine with its dark-green, 5-fingered foliage; a very attractive vigorous climber. Sun-PSh/Med


On Mar 31, 2005, hgurule from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This vine is an evergreen in my zone (Z8), and has attractive bluish-green foliage for wintertime enjoyment. In early Spring, it puts on flower buds resembling tiny white ballooons which are slow to open, but well worth the wait. The open blooms reveal a wonderful chocolate scent. The strongly fragrant blooms survive about three days before withering, and then are replaced by new, fresh blooms on the vine. The flowers may be small, but the vine is covered with them.

My vine is a Akebia quinata Shiro Bana meaning that it has five leaves per cluster. It is my understanding that you must have two different kinds of Akebia in order for it to produce the edible purple fruit. I have not had mine long enough to see if it produces fruit, but I am assuming that it will not si... read more