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Results Of Grape-breeding

There are now 2000 or more varieties of grapes of American origin, all
produced within approximately a century. It is doubtful whether any
other cultivated plant at any time in the history of the world has
attained such importance in so short a time from the wild state as
American grapes. It would seem that almost every possible combination
between species worth considering has been made. Through
hybridization, species and varieties have become so mixed that the
grape-breeder cannot now work intelligently with these gross forms and
must work with characters rather than with species and varieties which
are but combinations of characters. Great progress, it is true, has
been made in the past in breeding grapes in America, but the work has
been wholly empirical and extremely wasteful. Many varieties have been
called, but few have been chosen. With the new knowledge of breeding
and with the experience of past workers, progress should be made with
greater certainty. From what has been done and from work now under
way, it is not too much to say that we shall soon be growing grapes
everywhere in America, and kinds so diverse that they will meet not
only all purposes to which grapes are now put, but also the demand for
better grapes made by more critical consumers.

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Previous: Hybridizing The Grape

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