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Common Name: Muscadine Grape
Vitis rotundifolia is a Deciduous Climber up to 25.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
South-eastern N. America - Delaware to Indiana and Kansas, south to Florida, Texas and Mexico.
Woods, thickets, sandhills and shores[
Prefers a deep rich moist well-drained moderately fertile loam[
]. Grows best in a calcareous soil[
]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though a warm sunny position is required for the fruit to ripen[
]. Prefers a position in full sun[
Plants climb by means of tendrils[
]. They grow particularly well up elm trees[
Cultivated for its edible fruit in N. America[
], there are some named varieties[
]. Most plants are self-fertile[
], but there are some cultivars that only produce female flowers and require pollination[
Any pruning should be carried out in winter when the plants are dormant otherwise they bleed profusely[
Resistant to Phylloxera disease, a disease that almost destroyed the European grape crops. This species can be used as a rootstock in areas where the disease is prevalent and can also be used in breeding programmes with V. vinifera in order to impart resistance to that species[
]. Plants are , however, susceptible to infestation by aphis[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or dried for winter use[
] with a pleasant musky flavour[
]. Pleasant to eat raw, the fruit is excellent in jellies, pies etc[
]. The fruit is up to 25mm in diameter[
] and is produced in small bunches[
Leaves - cooked[
]. Young leaves are wrapped around other foods and then baked, they impart a pleasant flavour.
Young tendrils - raw or cooked[
A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[
]. Six weeks cold stratification improves the germination rate, and so stored seed is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is obtained. Germination should take place in the first spring, but sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in early summer.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, December/January in a frame. These cuttings can be of wood 15 - 30cm long or they can be of short sections of the stem about 5cm long with just one bud at the top of the section. In this case a thin, narrow strip of the bark about 3cm long is removed from the bottom half of the side of the stem. This will encourage callusing and the formation of roots. Due to the size of these cuttings they need to be kept in a more protected environment than the longer cuttings.