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Of the many offspring of Concord, Worden (Plate XXXI) is best known
and most meritorious. The grapes differ chiefly from those of Concord
in having larger berries and bunches, in having better quality and in
being a week to ten days earlier. The vine is equally hardy, healthy,
vigorous and productive but is more fastidious in its adaptations to
soil, although now and then it does even better. The chief fault of
the variety is that the fruit cracks badly, often preventing the
profitable marketing of a crop. Besides this tenderness of skin, the
fruit-pulp of Worden is softer than that of Concord, there is more
juice, and the keeping qualities are not as good, so that the grapes
hardly ship as well as those of the more commonly grown grape. Worden
is very popular in northern grape regions both for commercial
plantations and the garden. It is a more desirable inhabitant of the
garden, because of higher quality of fruit than Concord, and under
conditions well suited to it is better as a commercial variety, as the
fruit is handsomer as well as of better quality. In the markets the
fruit ought to sell for a higher price than Concord if desired for
immediate consumption, and if it can be harvested promptly, as it does
not hang well on the vines. Its earlier season is against it for a
commercial variety and, with the defects mentioned, will prevent its
taking the place of Concord to a great degree. Worden was originated
by Schuyler Worden, Minetto, Oswego County, New York, from seed of
Concord planted about 1863.

Vine vigorous, hardy, healthy, productive. Canes large, thick,
dark brown with reddish tinge; nodes enlarged, flattened; tendrils
continuous, slender, bifid, sometimes trifid. Young leaves tinged
on the under side and along the margins of upper side with
rose-carmine. Leaves large, thick; upper surface dark green,
glossy, smooth; lower surface light bronze, pubescent; leaf
usually not lobed; petiolar sinus wide, often urn-shaped; teeth
shallow. Flowers fertile, mid-season; stamens upright.

Fruit early. Clusters large, long, broad, tapering, usually
single-shouldered, compact; pedicel slender with a few small
warts; brush long, light green. Berries large, round, dark
purplish-black, glossy with heavy bloom, firm; skin tender, cracks
badly, adheres slightly, contains dark red pigment, astringent.
Flesh green, translucent, juicy, fine-grained, tough, foxy, sweet,
mild; good to very good. Seeds adherent, one to five, large,
broad, short, blunt, brown.

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