Another milestone today – this is entry number two hundred.
Decaisnea insignis is commonly known as “dead man's fingers”, a name inspired by its fleshy blue fruit, which ripen near Halloween and dangle menacingly from its branches. The follicles (pod-like fruit) contain black watermelon-like seeds surrounded by an edible, clear pulp. I would describe the taste as not unpleasant, but bland. The texture is more interesting – akin to jelly.
The akebia family, or Lardizabalaceae, contains eight genera. Decaisnea is an oddity as the only shrubby genus among a clan of woody climbers. Like most other members of the family, Decaisnea is native to southeast Asia, and in the case of Decaisnea insignis, western China. Two members of the family are an interesting botanical exception: Lardizabala and Boquila are native to Chile, forming what can only be called an odd biogeographical distribution for the family, as Chile and Asia were never in historic continental proximity.
The emerging foliage was previously featured on BPotD: Decaisnea insignis.
Botany resource link: UBC's Biology 321 – Bryophytes course site. Many images of mosses and liverworts, along with some introductory information about moss and liverwort morphology.