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(Vinifera, AEstivalis, Labrusca)

Downing is well worthy a place in the garden because of the high
quality, handsome appearance and good keeping qualities of the grapes.
Added to these qualities of the fruits are fair vigor and health of
vine. When grown as far north as New York, the vine should be laid
down in the winter or receive other protection. In most seasons,
unremitting warfare must be kept up to check mildew. In appearance of
bunch and berry, Downing is distinct, the clusters being large and
well-formed and the berries having the oval shape of a Malaga. The
flesh, also, shows Vitis vinifera in texture and quality, while
neither seeds nor skins are as objectionable as in pure-bred American
varieties. J. H. Ricketts, Newburgh, New York, first grew Downing
about 1865.

Vine tender to cold, unproductive. Canes short, few, slender, dark
green with an ash-gray tinge, surface covered with thin bloom,
often roughened with a few small warts; nodes much enlarged,
strongly flattened; internodes short; tendrils intermittent, bifid
or trifid. Leaves small, round, thick; upper surface dark green,
glossy, rugose; lower surface dark green, glabrous; lobes one to
five, terminal lobe acute; petiolar sinus narrow, closed and
overlapping; basal sinus shallow and narrow when present; lateral
sinus shallow, narrow; teeth wide, deep. Flowers open late;
stamens upright.

Fruit late, keeps until spring. Clusters large, long, slender,
cylindrical, sometimes loosely shouldered; pedicel slender,
covered with numerous warts; brush long, slender, green. Berries
large, markedly oval, dark purplish-black, glossy, covered with
light bloom, strongly persistent, firm; skin thick, tender,
adherent; flesh green with a yellow tinge, translucent, very
juicy, tender, fine-grained, vinous, mild; very good in quality.
Seeds free, one to three, notched, long, brown.

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