Akebia quinata

Chocolate vine

Family: Lardizabalaceae

Origin: Asia

Close up of chocolate vine flowers.
Flowers are chocolate to purple in colour.
Photo credit: Weedbusters

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Climbing liana < 20 m tall or scrambling ground cover. Leaves are palmate, with < 5 leaflets < 75 mm long. Flowers are brown/purple and borne in spring. Pods are purple, flattened sausage-shaped and ripen in late summer.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell chocolate vine. As chocolate vine is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant chocolate vine within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any chocolate vine on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Habitats

Roadsides, forest margins, scrub, hedgerows.

Dispersal

Vegetative spread. Human-mediated dispersal through mowing, soil movement, contaminated machinery and deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Smothers native vegetation and prevents seedling recruitment.

Control

Site Management

Cut and pull vines away from desirable trees and native plants before foliar spraying. Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Cut vines and leave upper stems to die in trees or dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts (except vines if left to die in trees).

Disposal options: Compost in a composting weed bag or remove to greenwaste or landfill.

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications:

For small infestations: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel or cut stump and spray freshly cut base of stems with 200ml glyphosate green per 1L of water.

Basic Growsafe certified:

For small infestations: Cut vines at waist height and foliar spray vines on the ground with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user:

For medium to large infestations: Cut vines at waist height and foliar spray vines on the ground with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Chocolate vine leaves amongst a flax bush.
Chocolate vine forms a dense tangled mat which can smother existing plants.
New dense leaf growth of the chocolate vine.
Each leaf alternates along the stem.
Chocolate vine with purple flowers and green seeds.
Flowers are vanilla or chocolate scented.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Close up of a chocolate vine pod.
Purple coloured flattened seed pods with whitish seed pulp.
Photo credit: Weedbusters