Herb: Akebia


Latin name: Akebia trifoliata


Synonyms: Akebia lobata, Clematis trifoliata


Family: Lardizabalaceae (Lardizabala Family)



Medicinal use of Akebia:

The stems are analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antitumor. blood tonic, cardiotonic, diuretic, emmenagogue and galactogogue. Taken internally, it controls gram-positive bacterial and fungal infections and is used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, lack of menstruation, to improve lactation etc. The stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Climber

Height:
9 m
(30 feet)

Flovering:
April


Scent:
Scented
Climber

Habitat of the herb:

Rocky places in woods and thickets to 1800 metres. Semideciduous forest margins, open forest along valleys, scrub on hillsides and by streams at elevations of 200 - 2100 metres.

Edible parts of Akebia:

Fruit - raw. Sweet but insipid. The fruit has a delicate flavour and a soft juicy texture. The flavour can be enhanced by the addition of a little lemon juice. Valued more as a novelty, the fruit looks somewhat like a deep-purple coloured sausage. The fruit is 7 - 13cm long. The dried young leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

The peeled stems are very pliable. They can be bleached and used in basket making.

Propagation of Akebia:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Surface sow in a light position. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15C. Stored seed should be given 1 month cold stratification and can be very difficult 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. The cuttings can be slow to root. Cuttings can also be taken of soft wood in spring. Root cuttings, December in a warm greenhouse. Layering in early spring. Very easy, the plants usually self-layer and so all you need to do is dig up the new plants and plant them out directly into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rocky places in woods and thickets to 1800 metres. Semideciduous forest margins, open forest along valleys, scrub on hillsides and by streams at elevations of 200 - 2100 metres.

Known hazards of Akebia trifoliata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.