Why isn't akebia (chocolate vine) more popular?

milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)July 25, 2013

From what I've been reading it seems that akebia are very easy to grow, hardy, beautiful, fragrant, and produce edible gelatinous pulp around the seeds. Why is it not more popular among hobby fruit growers?

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shane11

My guess is that Akebia fruits do not have much of a flavor. They are sweet but bland. They are easy to grow and get to fruit if you have at least 2 different vines and the vine is attractive both in flower and fruit. But it can be quite invasive so be careful where you plant. It can take over everything around it if not pruned regularly.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:25PM
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jethro75(Z 5 N Central PA)

Bingo, Shane11! Invasive!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:54PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

How does it become invasive? Is it through root suckers similar to Virginia creeper or through seeds?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:08PM
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larry_gene

The fruit may be hard to process for just the edible pulp.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:39PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

When I was at One Green World one Fall day a couple of years ago,I saw it growing along some fences on the grounds.It's fruit looked strangely beautiful as it opened up.I had to ask one of the workers passing by what it was,because it was new to me.
It was one of their Harvest Festival days and there was a room with different kinds of fruit to sample.Akebia was one of them.After trying it,I made a decision right away not to grow it.The flavor was odd,like what shane wrote about. Brady

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:05AM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

I agree with Brady and Shane. Bad taste.

By the way, anyone who is near Portland in the Fall at one of their harvest days should go. You can try all kinds of unusual fruit there for free, then decide if you want to buy the tree.
John S
PDX OR

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:21AM
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denninmi(8a)

The vine doesn't produce many fruits at all, even with 2 cultivars side by side. The few that develop - well, let's just say Kleenex sweetened with sugar describes the (complete lack of) flavor.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:33AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I'm so glad I asked before jumping in! Thank you all for your input.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:46AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I got a pair about five years ago, they are very ornamental and the fragrance of the flowers is unique and quite nice. Other than growing like a normal, vigorous vine I don't notice any invasiveness, they aren't sending our runners and I don't see any seedlings sprouting anywhere. The fruit is not worth eating, I definitely think of mine as ornamental and not edible. The fruits are bizarre looking and the pulp is almost tasteless, gelatinous goo filled with seeds.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Ivywild142(6a)

Akebia seems to be much more invasive in a humid climate like the east. When they bloom, they are lovely and then they are just a green vine. The fruit is nothing too terrific. Seedy, lightly sweet slime is my take on them. They are okay if you have one but probably not worth pursuing if you do not.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:05AM
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