Above, chocolate vine in flower in Cobble Hill.
I have once seen a fruit on a chocolate vine, in a protected garden in New Jersey. It smelled like pineapples and passion fruit, had split a little, and looked a bit like a pale aubergine. It was all I could do to restrain myself from taking a bite.
Imagine a plant collector's delight, finding this vine on an exotic continent, bringing it back home, growing it in a greenhouse, watching it make fruit. Serving that fruit - or sending it to the closest blue-blooded house as a gift - to be eaten with bone handled silverware from fragile China plates after dinner.
Tsk tsk tsk. No chocolate vine allowed. Akebia quinata is invasive. Native to China, Japan and Korea, it takes off in Eastern woods and smothers the vines and small shrubs that got here first. Which means less food and habitat for local animal life. I used it back in the day before I knew (how's that for a title?: Before I Knew...). But then I learned (that could be the sequel).
I see the attraction. The leaves are pretty, the curious flowers are compelling, smell good, and might one day make that strange, headily-scented fruit.
Temptation. It all started with a snake. And he offered fruit.
He knew what he was doing.
Call me Eve.
What are your forbidden plant obsessions?