|Grape Muscadine - Vitis rotundifolia Michx.|
Granny Val is a large bronze grape recommended for fresh market
Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) Michx foliage
Grape spring growth
Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) Michx. Tendrils.
Grape, Vitis sp. L. tree trunk
Support structure for home production
Trellised grapevines in winter, Colorado
Close-up view of the results of pruning and trellising
Commercial trellis design
Rosa Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard
Grapes harvested and ready to process
Rosa Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard
Grape fruits spread out in the sun in Bolivia
Grape farm in Cyprus
Vitis rotundifolia Michx.
Muscadine grape, southern fox grape: English; vigne musquée: French; Muscadinerebe: German; moscada: Spanish; vite moscata: Spanish 7
Muscadinia rotundifolia (Michx.) Small; M. munsoniana; M. rotundifolia var. munsoniana; Vitis munsoniana; V. rotundifolia var. munsoniana
European grape, Vitis vinifera, summer grape, V. aestivalis widely distributed across the state; graybark grape, V. cinerea of the western panhandle; Florida grape, V. cinerea var. Floridana widespread through peninsular Florida; catbird grape, V. palmata of north Florida; Callosa grape, V. shuttleworthii of south and centra Florida and frost grape, V. vulpina of north Florida and west central Frlorida 8
Native to Southeastern U.S.A.
USDA hardiness zones
Zones 6-10 see Distribution Map
Eaten fresh, in juice, wine and jelly
8 ft (2.4 m)
Deciduous vines growing 60-100 ft (18-30.4 m) in the wild
Slow then vigorous
Woody vine with tendrils
Must be pruned to keep it manageable and to ensure maximum vine performance
Slightly lobed; 2.5-5 in. (6.3-7.3 cm); rounded to broadly ovate with coarsely serrate edges; acuminate point
Small, greenish flowers are borne in short, dense panicles; may be male, female or perfect
Borne in small, loose clusters of 3-40 grapes on new growth; purple, round berries with tough skins; juicy, sweet, excellent flavor
As early as late July for some cultivars and extends to late September for others
Well maintained vineyards can produce up to 15 tons of muscadines per acre 4
USDA Nutrient Content pdf
Tolerates a wide range of soils but best results are obtained from well-drained sandy loams
5.5 to 6.5
Regions with 30 in. (76 cm) of annual rainfall usually get enough rain to sustain the plants, unless summer dry spells stretch out past 60 days
Soil salt tolerance
Muscadine grapes seldom sustain frost injury in the spring due to the late bloom date. When acclimated, most vines can tolerate temperatures down to about 10°F (-12 °C) without injury
Planting distances and configurations are dependent on vineyard design 3
They are tolerant of most insect pests, and seldom are insecticides warranted
The Muscadine Grape from the University of Florida pdf 15 pages
Muscadine Grapes in the Landscape from the University of Florida Gadsden County Extension pdf
Schedule for Grape Production Practices in Florida from MREC University of Florida pdf 4 pages
Production and Marketing Guide for Muscadine Grapes in Florida from Florida A&M University pdf 64 pages
2016 Production Guide for Organic Grapes from Cornell University Extension pdf 76 pages
The muscadine grape is native to the southeastern United States, found in the wild from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico and westward to Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Many older varieties were selections from the wild, but the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture have introduced a number of improved varieties that have become standard cultivars. The earliest named variety was Scuppernong, found growing wild in northeastern North Caroline in 1810 by Dr. Calvin Jones. Scuppernong has become another name for all muscadine grapes. Commercial production of muscadine grapes is essentially limited to the U.S. Southeast. 2
America's First Grape: The Muscadine from USDA-ARS Small Fruit Research Station pdf
Muscadines are vigorous, deciduous vines growing 60-100 ft. in the wild. Botanically, they differ in significant ways from other grapes and are placed in a separate sub-genus, Muscadinia. In contrast to most other grapes, muscadines have a tight, non-shedding bark, warty shoots and unbranched tendrils. 2
Botanical Diagram of the Grape
Muscadines are dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. The small, greenish flowers are borne in short, dense panicles. It appears that both wind and insects play a role in the pollination of the female flowers. 2
Flowers appear after several weeks of shoot growth, usually in April. 3
The slightly lobed, 2-1/2 to 5 inch leaves are rounded to broadly ovate with coarsely serrate edges and an acuminate point. Dark green above and green tinged yellow beneath, the leaves are glossy on both sides, becoming firm and subglabrous at maturity. 2
The fruit is borne in small, loose clusters of 3-40 grapes on the current year's growth, quite unlike the large, tight bunches characteristic of European and American grapes. The round, 1 to 1-1/2 inch fruits have a thick, tough skin and contain up to 5 hard, oblong seeds. In color the fruits range from greenish bronze through bronze, pinkish red, purple and almost black. Sugar content varies from about 16% to 25% for the sweetest cultivars. The wild fruits and some older cultivars have a musky quality similar to American grapes, although not as pronounced. Modern cultivars have a unique fruity flavor with very little muskiness. The flavor and appearance of the dark colored muscadine fruits are remarkably similar to the jaboticaba. 2
A cultivar good for fresh market consumption should be large, sweet, and attractive with a relatively thin skin. Yields should be consistently moderate to high and vine vigor and disease resistance should be satisfactory.
A cultivar adapted for processing into wine, juice or jelly must produce consistently high yields. Berries should contain at least 14° Brix, should have a favorable sugar-acid ratio and should taste good. Berry ripening should be uniform so that multiple harvests are not required. Juice and wine grapes (particularly red-skinned grapes) must have a high degree of color stability. Berry appearance is not critical. 3
Muscadine Grape Varieties for Florida
Harvesting can be accomplished by selecting individual grapes or bunches of grapes by hand, or by shaking berries loose from a vine into tarps positioned beneath the vine or by using mechanical harvesters that rake and shake the berries lose. Harvest is as early as late July for some cultivars and extends to late September for others. Typically, at least two harvests are required, but cultivars such as Fry or Welder may require up to 5 harvests. 3
How to Judge Grape Ripeness Before Harvest from Aggie Horticulture®, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension pdf 7 pages
Wild muscadine vines can be either male or female (dioecious) and must grow near each other in order for pollination to occur and grapes to form. If you don’t have the room for multiple vines, opt for a self-fertile variety, i.e. those that are said to have "perfect" flowers.
Many varieties of muscadines are commercially available, and several of the most popular self-fertile cultivars in Florida are 'Carlos', 'Polyanna', 'Florida Fry', and 'Southern Home' (the latter is actually a hybrid of bunch and muscadine grapes developed in Florida). 1
The most common propagation method is to make 2- to 3-node-long cuttings from shoots 1/4 to 3/8 inches in diameter in June or July. Simply insert the basal end of the cutting in a light textured soil or potting media. Keep the roots and leaves moist until roots have formed (usually about 2 weeks). A mist bed can be inexpensively constructed for this purpose. The buds in the leaf axils will break and form shoots shortly thereafter.
Another method to asexually propagate muscadine grapes is called pegging. To use this method, wound a low growing shoot by making successive cuts in the bark and then cover it with moist soil. Leave the shoot tip exposed. After about a month, roots should have formed, and the shoot may be severed from the mother vine. Pegging can be done in the summer months and is most useful to propagate a few vines. 3
Diagram for Grape Propagation from the University of Florida MREC/IFAS pdf
Propagating Muscadine Grapes from the North Carolina State University Extension pdf 8 pages
Propagate Ornamentals and Muscadines from the University of Florida Okaloosa County Extension pdf
Air Layering of Muscadine Grapes
Bare-root vines should be planted December through February, whereas container-grown vines can be planted throughout the year provided that they receive adequate irrigation.
The most critical elements to success of newly planted and young vines are irrigation and weed control. A hole should be dug to accommodate the entire root system, usually about 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide. 3
Growing Muscadine Grapes from the Florida A&M University pdf
Grape Berry Growth and Development from the University of California pdf 8 pages
The best time to prune is mid-January to mid-March. After a grapevine has been trained to a desired configuration, it must be pruned to keep it manageable and to ensure maximum vine performance. Major pruning is normally done during the dormant season, although touch-up pruning can be done during the growing season. The standard rule is to allow 2 to 4 node spurs spaced about every 6 inches of cordon. 3
Pruning Basics: Spur Pruning Video from the Oregon State University Extension ext. link
Spur Pruning Video from the Oregon State University Extension ext. link
Pruning Diagram from the University of Florida MREC/IFAS pdf
Pruning Muscadine Grapes from the University of Florida Clay County Extension pdf
Prune Grape Vines for Maximum Yield from the University of Florida pdf
The first year, set a 6.5-foot stake by each plant and tie the stake to the top wire of the trellis. As shoots begin to grow from the plant, select the healthiest shoot and secure it to the stake with string or tape. Remove all other shoots. As the selected shoot grows, it eventually becomes the trunk of the vine. It is important to keep it growing straight up the stake by (a) tying with string as needed for support and (b) removing lateral and base sprouts while they are small. Be sure to leave at least one lateral shoot to grow each way along each wire. 5
How to Espalier Page
Training Young Vines from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
Trellis Systems and Trellis Construction from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
Vineyard Trellis Construction from the University of Florida MREC/IFAS pdf
Constructing a Vineyard Trellis from Iowa State University pdf 67 pages
Trellis Selection and Canopy Management from the University of California Extension pdf 8 pages
Apply the fertilizer in bands about 1 foot to either side of the vine. It is sometimes beneficial to apply fertilizer that has micronutrients added. Repeat this process in June and in August. During the second year, apply 1 to 2 lb of fertilizer per vine in March and again in June/July. In future years, the fertilization rates can be 3 to 4 lbs of fertilizer per vine during March and June/July. 1
Irrigation is essential during the entire establishment year for muscadine grapes. Irrigation will also be beneficial for fruiting vines. The most critical period for irrigation is May through June. After this time, the quantity of summer rainfall is usually sufficient to meet the vine needs. 3
One reason for the popularity of muscadine grapes is that they are a sustainable fruit crop in the southeastern United States. They are tolerant of insect and disease pests, and homeowners can successfully grow muscadine grapes without spraying any pesticides. 3
Insect Pests of Grapes in Florida from the University of Florida pdf 5 pages
The most common diseases on muscadine grape berries and/or leaves are angular leaf spot, black rot, ripe rot, macrophoma rot and powdery mildew. Bitter rot can infect all above ground tissue. 3
Out of hand as they come off the vine. They can be made into jelly, jam, wine, raisins, fruit leather; the seeds can be pressed for oil and the young leaves boiled and eaten. The leaves of the hybrids are preferred to the muscadines. Muscadines can be high in acid so when crushing to make jelly don’t use your hand. Oh, and the seeds can be used to make grappa. 6
Home Wine Making from the University of Florida via the Florida Grape Growers
Association pdf 8 pages
Winemaking at Home from the University of Georgia Extension pdf 24 pages
Home Preservation of Grapes From the University of Florida via the Florida Grape Growers Association pdf 7 pages
Medicinal Uses **
Immune Benefits of Consuming Red Muscadine Wine from the University of Florida pdf 4 pages
Tidbits from D. Greene
1. If you make grape jelly from muscadines don’t crush them bare handed or bare footed. The high acid content can lightly burn your hands or feet. Also, grape sap is drinkable.
2. The grape vine, however, has a peculiar vascular arrangement. If you cut the vine it will not leak water unless you invert it. You can get a quart or more from a one-foot piece.
3. In all English dialects except American English “vine” means the grape vine. In American English “vine” can mean many plants, not just the grape vine. 6
Muscadines are grown on trellises or arbors for their fruit or for the screening effect they produce when in leaf. 4
History of Grapes in Florida and Grape Pionneers from the University of Florida pdf 169 pages
TimeLine: Grapes in Florida from the University of Florida pdf 60 pages
United States Standards for Grades of Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) Grapes pdf 5 pages
Muscadine Grape from the California Rare Fruit Growers Inc.
Muscadine Grape Production in the Home Garden from the University of Arkansas Extension pdf 4 pages
Muscadine Grape from Clemson University Extension pdf 4 pages
Grapes of Path by Green Deane of eattheweeds.com
Home Garden Muscadines from the University of Georgia Extension pdf 5 pages
Muscadine Grape Production Guide for North Carolina from the North Carolina University Extension pdf 20 pages
Organic Muscadine Grape Production from the North Carolina State University pdf 44 pages
Frequently Asked Questions from University of Florida Nassau Couty Extension
Grape Botanical Art
The Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium - Grape Production ext. link
Florida Grape Growers Association ext. link
Pick-Your-Own Farms in Florida--PickYourOwn.org ext. link
Floridagrapes.com ext. link
List of Growers and Vendors
1 "Muscadine Grapes." gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 7 Nov. 2014
2 "Muscadine Grape." crfg.org. 1997. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.
3 Andersen, Peter C., Crocker, Timothy E. and Breman, Jacque. "The Muscadine Grape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS763, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Publication June 2003. Revised Oct. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.
4 Christman, Steve. "Vitis rotundifolia." floridata.com. 5 Oct. 2010. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.
5 Andersen, P.C., Crocker, T.E. and Mortensen, J.A. "The Bunch Grape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Fact Sheet HS-17A, a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Publication Aug. 2001. Revised April 2014. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.
6 Deane, Green. "Grapes of Path." eattheweeds.com. Web. 19 July 2016.
7 "Vitis rotundifolia Michx." ars-grin.gov. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. Web. 15 Aug. 2016.
8 Boning, Charles R. Florida's Best Fruiting Plants- Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Pineapple Press, Inc. sarasota, Florida. Print.
Fig. 1 Maguire, Ian. Muscadine Grape. N.d. gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.
Fig. 2,5,8,11,12 Jackson, Karen. "Grape Series." 2008. growables.org. JPG file.
Fig. 3 Andersen, Peter C. Granny Val is a large bronze grape recommended for fresh market. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.
Fig. 4 Evans, Chris. Vitis rotundifolia. Foliage. 2010. University of Illinois. bugwood.org. Under (CC BY-NC 3.0 US). Web. 27 Aug. 2016.
Fig. 6 Miller, James H. Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) Michx. Tendrils. 2011. USDA Forest Service. bugwood.org. Under (CC BY-NC 3.0 US). Web. 27 Aug. 2016.
Fig. 7 Videki, Robert. Grape, Vitis sp. L. tree trunk. 2009. Doronicum Kft. bugwood.org. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Fig. 9 Schwartz, Howard F. Trellised grapevines in winter, Colorado. 2008. Colorado State University. bugwood.org. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
Fig. 10 Schwartz, Howard F. Close-up view of the results of pruning and trellising. 2008. Colorado State University. bugwood.org. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
Fig. 13 Brown, William M. Jr. Grape fruits spread out in the sun in Bolivia. 2008. Colorado State University. bugwood.org. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Fig. 14 Mamchenkov, Leonid. Grape farm in Cyprus. 2007. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 27 Aug. 2016.
Fig. 15 Wunderlin, R. P., B. F. Hansen, A. R. Franck, and F. B. Essig. Vitis rotundifolia. Species Distribution Map. 2016. Atlas of Florida Plants. [S. M. Landry and K. N. Campbell (application development), USF Water Institute.] Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa. florida.plantatlas.usf.edu. Web. 15 Aug. 2016.
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.
Published 12 Apr. 2014 LR. Last Update 27 Aug. 2016 LR