Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

akebia the fruit of either of two oriental climbing shrubs in the genus Akebia of the family Lardizabalaceae.

Although appreciated in their native region (China, Korea, and Japan), the fruits are rarely cultivated there and have not been introduced elsewhere on a significant scale. Each plant produces up to three pendent fruits, purplish in colour. Those of A. trifoliata may reach a length of 12 cm (5"). They burst open when ripe to reveal thick, semi-transparent flesh and numerous black seeds. This flesh, which has only a faint flavour, is edible, and so is the skin.