Akebia quinata seed
Akebia quinata ‘Chocolate Vine’
Lardizabalaceae: a vigorous twining, semi-evergreen climbing shrub to 12m. Found in woods, hedges and thickets in mountainous areas. Fragrant reddish-purple cup-shaped flowers, with larger females at the base of the raceme. Blooming from April – May. The flowers are followed by purple fruits up to 10cm in length. bright green leaves composed of five elliptic or obovate leaflets notched at the tips. Native to Eastern Asia, china, Japan, Korea.
The fruit can be eaten raw, they have a sweet delicate flavour and a soft, juicy texture. Lemon juice is sometimes added to the fruit to enhance the flavour. The soft young shoots are used in salads or pickled, and the leaves are used as a tea substitute.
Surface sow in a light position. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 15°C. Stored seed should be given at least 1-month cold stratification and can be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
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