Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Decne.

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Bean

Genus

Synonyms

  • Rajania quinata Houtt.

Infraspecifics

Other species in genus

Glossary

apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
clone
Organism arising via vegetative or asexual reproduction.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
pendent
Hanging.
pollen
Small grains that contain the male reproductive cells. Produced in the anther.
raceme
Unbranched inflorescence with flowers produced laterally usually with a pedicel. racemose In form of raceme.
reflexed
Folded backwards.

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Sources

Bean

A twining shrub 30 to 40 ft in length, evergreen in mild winters and in warm localities, but losing its leaves where the conditions are more severe. Leaves with slender stalks 3 to 5 in. long, carrying normally five (sometimes three or four) radially arranged leaflets. Leaflets glabrous, oblong or obovate, distinctly notched at the apex, 112 to 3 in. long, with stalks about 12 in. long. Flowers produced on slender, pendent racemes, very fragrant; males 14 in. across, with pale purple, reflexed sepals, and occupying the terminal part of the raceme; females (usually two) 1 to 112 in. across, dark chocolate-purple, the sepals broadly elliptical and concave. Fruit 212 to 4 in. long, in shape like a thick sausage, greyish violet or purplish in colour, containing numerous seeds immersed in white pulp. Bot. Mag., t. 4864.

First introduced in 1845 from the Island of Chusan by Robert Fortune, this climber has since been found to be native also of Japan, China, and Korea. It is perfectly hardy in a sheltered dell at Kew, but does not develop its handsome fruit out-of-doors. In the south-western counties it succeeds admirably, and is valued for the charming, spicy fragrance of its flowers, at times perceptible yards away from the plant, although even there the fruit is never abundantly borne. The failure to fruit would be understandable if, as is quite possibly the case, the individual plant is partly or wholly sterile to its own pollen and hence to that of any other plant of the same clone. The remedy would be to grow two or more plants known to be of diverse origin.

A × pentaphylla (Mak.) Mak

A hybrid between the two species of Akebia and intermediate between them. It occurs in the wild and is, of course, very likely to occur among seedlings raised in gardens where both species are grown. For an interesting account of deliberate cross-pollination see Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 70, 1957, p. 215.

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