Akebia trifoliata seed
Three-leaf Akebia is a deciduous, twining, woody vine that rapidly grows to 20 to 40 feet. It produces compound palmate leaves, each with three elliptic to oblong-obovate leaflets 1 to 3 inches long which are dark green above and glaucous below. Small fragrant, chocolate-purple flowers bloom in drooping axillary racemes in spring. Flowers are monoecious, with both staminate (male) and pistillate (female) flowers appearing in the same raceme. Flowers give way to bizarre looking, sausage shaped, pinkish-violet fruit pods, 4 to 5 inches long, which split open in fall to reveal small black seeds imbedded in a whitish pulp.