Akebia trifoliata

1 May

Akebia trifoliata (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Akebia trifoliata (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 9m

Eventual Spread: 6m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Family: Lardizabalaceae

Akebia trifoliata is a fast growing deciduous climber/ wall shrub. Its mid green leaves are composed of thee leaflets. Each leaflet is ovate with entire margins. Its dark purple monoecious flowers appear as short racemes and are not self fertile. Its pale purple fruits are ovoid, up to 12cm long, 4cm broad, appear in autumn and split open to reveal fleshy pulp.

Akebia trifoliata Leaf (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Akebia trifoliata Leaf (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Akebia trifoliata, commonly known as the Three Leaf Akebia, is native to China, Japan and Korea. In its native habitat it grows in semi deciduous forests and forest margins.

The etymological root of the binomial name Akebia is derived from the Japanese Akebi, the name for this plant. Trifoliata is derived from the Latin meaning ‘three leaved’.

Akebia trifoliata Flower (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Akebia trifoliata Flower (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Akebia trifoliata useful as a wall trained shrub or climber, it requires climbing supports.

Ecologically, Akebia trifoliata fruit are attractive to some birds and mammals.

Akebia trifoliata prefers moist, fertile, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Akebia trifoliata requires little maintenance. Pruning, if necessary, should be carried out after flowering.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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