You can find this plant only in East and South-East Asia. It was not long ago that Europeans got to know about it, though it was used in folk medicine in Korea, Japan and China since years ago. The magnolia vine is a tonic agent. It increases the overall tone of the body, gives energy. The infusion made of magnolia vine prevents and reduces fatigue with high physical exercising.
The magnolia vine is a liana with a wooden 1-2cm thick stem. The body can sometimes reach 15 meters. If you crumble the leaf of the plant you will be able to smell a lemon. The takes the same odor if you put a fresh or dried leaf into the tea. This is where the Russian word comes from. In Japan, Korea and China it is called “the fruit with five different flavors”. The fruit flesh is sour-sweet, the seeds are resinous, astringent and bitter; the fruit itself has a salty flavor.
On the Russian territory the magnolia vine can be found in the Far East, in the southern Sakhalin and near the southern Kuril Islands. It does well in the floodplains and along the river banks, in forests and opening areas. It’s impossible to find it in a deep forest, in the full sun areas and on the wetland soils. The magnolia vine enlaces the thin trees and shrub branches or breaks into the plants and even chokes them.
The magnolia vine blossoms in the second half of May in the beginning of June. The pale pink or white flowers have a pleasant gummy odor. The bright-scarlet truss fruit matures in September. The fruit is small as 1-1,5cm thick. A truss may have from 5 to 40 fruits. The fruit has 1 or 2 small seeds. The magnolia vine breeds in seeds spread by the birds. Though it is often done by the root stalks.
There is a kadsura japonica belonging to Schisandraceae plants that grows in Japan, South Korea, in Sri-Lanka and India. Its purple-red fruits resemble the magnolia vine and have the same tonic and energetic effect.
You can plant the magnolia vine in your garden. The only thing you need to remember is that it cannot bare constant shade and always open spaces, as well as wetland soils.