The Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia Michx)
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Andersen, Peter C., Ali Sarkhosh, Dustin Huff, and Jacque Breman. 2020. “The Muscadine Grape (Vitis Rotundifolia Michx): HS763/HS100, Rev. 10/2020”. EDIS 2020 (6). Gainesville, FL.


The muscadine grape is native to the southeastern United States and was the first native grape species to be cultivated in North America. The natural range of muscadine grapes extends from Delaware to central Florida and occurs in all states along the Gulf Coast to east Texas. It also extends northward along the Mississippi River to Missouri. Muscadine grapes will perform well throughout Florida, although performance is poor in calcareous soils or in soils with very poor drainage. Most scientists divide the Vitis genus into two subgenera: Euvitis (the European, Vitis vinifera L. grapes and the American bunch grapes, Vitis labrusca L.) and the Muscadania grapes (muscadine grapes). There are three species within the Muscadania subgenera (Vitis munsoniana, Vitis popenoei and Vitis rotundifolia). Euvitis and Muscadania have somatic chromosome numbers of 38 and 40, respectively. Vines do best in deep, fertile soils, and they can often be found in beside river beds.

 Wild muscadine grapes are functionally dioecious due to incomplete stamen formation in female vines and incomplete pistil formation in male vines. Male vines account for the majority of the wild muscadine grape population. Muscadine grapes are late in breaking bud in the spring and require 100-120 days to mature fruit. Typically, muscadine grapes in the wild bear dark fruit with usually 4 to 10 fruit per cluster. Bronze-fruited muscadine grapes are also found in the wild, and they are often referred to as scuppernongs. There are hundreds of named muscadine grape cultivars from improved selections, and in fact, one that has been found in the Scuppernong river of North Carolina has been named Scuppernong. There are over 100 improved cultivars of muscadine grapes that vary in size from 1/4 to 1 ½ inches in diameter and 4 to 15 grams in weight. Skin color ranges from light bronze to pink to purple to black. Flesh is clear and translucent for all muscadine grape berries.

Originally published 1994 by Peter C. Anderson and Timothy E. Crocker. Published on EDIS June 2003. Revised November 2010, October 2013, January 2017. This revision with Sarkhosh and Huff.
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