chocolate vine

Ranunculales > Lardizabalaceae > Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Dcne.
Synonym(s): fiveleaf akebia

Chocolate vine, also called fiveleaf akebia, is a 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 with age. The leaves are palmately compound with up to five, 1.5 to 3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) long, oval leaflets. Flowering occurs in the mid-spring, when small, purple to red, fragrant flowers develop. Fruit are purple seed pods that contain white pulp and small black seeds. Fruits are rarely produced. Chocolate vine is shade tolerant and invades forested habitats. The dense mat of vines formed can displace native understory species. It can also climb into, smother, and kill small trees and shrubs. Chocolate vine is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into the United States in 1845 as an ornamental.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage;
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); immature
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Nancy Fraley, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s);
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); immature fruit
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Shep Zedaker, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Shep Zedaker, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; dormant season
Shep Zedaker, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Manning, Invasive Plant Control, Bugwood.org


Infestation;
Steve Manning, Invasive Plant Control, Bugwood.org

Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Kentucky - EPPC List
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia