This family of woody vines is native to Asia, but has swiftly been spread across the globe by horticulturalists impressed by its ornamental foliage and quick growth. There are only two main species of akebia, although gardeners have produced around half a dozen hybrid strains over the years. Of the main two varieties, the most popular is Akebia Quinata, or the Chocolate Vine. This produces attractive foliage, with five leaflets to each leaf, forming a “hand-like” effect, unlike its sister variety akebia Trifoliata, which produces only three. akebia plants also produce flowers and oblong fruits that are purplish in colour. These fruits can even be eaten, although their taste is weak and bland.The akebia genus is an evergreen, which guarantees lush leaves all the year round. It is also very fast-growing, and enthusiastically twines around trees, walls or trellises. akebia grows just as well in full sunshine or in partial shade.