This unusual perennial vine is an old Japanese Heirloom. Delicate-looking lightly scented flowers in pendulous clusters bloom in April. Male & female flowers are borne in the same cluster and are edible.
The pods contain a white, semi-translucent gelatinous pulp that is mildly sweet. The taste is described as sweet and tropical tasting. The purple-colored, slightly bitter rind has been used as vegetable. Minor quantities of akebia are shipped to the urban market as novelty vegetable.
In Japan, the leaves are made into a tea infusion. Also, Akebia vines are used for basket-weaving crafts.
A fast grower that likes to be in full or partial sun. This vine likes moist soil and adapts to many soil types. Bounces back easily from pruning. Provide a sturdy trellis, arbor for the vine to climb on. Hardy to Zone 5. Bonsai suitable.