Species Of American Grapes

The number of species of grapes in the world depends on the arbitrary

limits set for a species of this fruit, and knowledge of the genus is

yet too meager to set these limits with certainty. Indeed, the men who

have made grape species have seldom been able to outline the habitats

of their groups with much certainty. In habitat, it should be said,

grapes are confined almost wholly to temperate and subtropical

regions. However, the grape-grower is not much concerned with species

of grapes other than those that have horticultural value. Of these, in

America, there are now ten more or less cultivated either for fruit or

for stocks. The following descriptions of these ten species are

adapted from the author's The Grapes of New York, published in 1908 by

the state of New York (Chapter IV, pages 107-156).


A. Skin of mature berry separating freely from the pulp.

B. Nodes without diaphragms; tendrils simple.

1. V. rotundifolia.

2. V. Munsoniana.

BB. Nodes with diaphragms; tendrils forked.

C. Leaves and shoots glabrous at maturity and without

bloom; tendrils intermittent.

D. Leaves thin, light, bright green, generally glabrous

below at maturity except perhaps in the axils of the

veins with a long or at least a prominent point and

usually long and sharp teeth or the edge even-jagged.

E. Leaves broader than long; petiolar sinus usually wide

and shallow.

3. V. rupestris.

EE. Leaves ovate in outline; petiolar sinus usually

medium to narrow.

4. V. vulpina.

DD. Leaves thick, dull colored or grayish-green, often

holding some close, dull pubescence below at maturity,

shoots and leaves nearly always more or less pubescent

when young; the teeth mostly short.

5. V. cordifolia.

6. V. Berlandieri.

CC. Leaves rusty or white tomentose or glaucous blue below,

thick or at least firm.

D. Leaves flocculent or cobwebby or glaucous below when

fully grown.

7. V. aestivalis.

8. V. bicolor.

DD. Leaves densely tomentose or felt-like beneath

throughout the season; covering white or rusty white.

E. Tendrils intermittent.

9. V. candicans.

EE. Tendrils mostly continuous.

10. V. Labrusca.

AA. Skin and pulp of mature berry cohering. (Old World.)

11. V. vinifera.

1. Vitis rotundifolia, Michx. Muscadine Grape. Bull Grape. Bullet

Grape. Bushy Grape. Bullace Grape. Scuppernong. Southern Fox Grape.

Vine very vigorous, sometimes, when without support, shrubby and

only three or four feet high; when growing in the shade often

sending down aerial roots. Wood hard, bark smooth, not scaling,

with prominent warty lenticels; shoots short-jointed, angled, with

fine scurfy pubescence; diaphragms absent; tendrils intermittent,

simple. Leaves small, broadly cordate or roundish; petiolar sinus

wide, shallow; margin with obtuse, wide teeth; not lobed; dense in

texture, light green color, glabrous above, sometimes pubescent

along veins below. Cluster small (6-24 berries), loose; peduncle

short; pedicels short, thick. Berries large, globular or somewhat

oblate, black or greenish-yellow; skin thick, tough and with a

musky odor; pulp tough; ripening unevenly and dropping as soon as

ripe. Seeds flattened, shallowly and broadly notched; beak very

short; chalaza narrow, slightly depressed with radiating ridges

and furrows; raphe a narrow groove. Leafing, flowering and

ripening fruit very late.

The habitat of this species is southern Delaware, west through

Tennessee, southern Illinois, southeastern Missouri, Arkansas (except

the northwestern portions), to Grayson County, Texas, as a northern

and western boundary, to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf on the east

and south. It becomes rare as one approaches the western limit but is

common in many sections of the great region outlined above, being most

abundant on sandy, well-drained bottom lands and along river banks and

in swampy, thick woodlands and thickets. The climate most suitable for

Rotundifolia is that in which cotton grows, and it thrives best in the

lower portions of the cotton-belt of the United States.

The fruit of Rotundifolia is very characteristic. The skin is thick,

has a leathery appearance, adheres strongly to the underlying flesh

and is marked with lenticel-like russet dots. The flesh is more or

less tough but the toughness is not localized around the seed as in

the case of Labrusca. The fruit and most of the varieties of the

species are characterized by a strong, musky aroma and are lacking in

sugar and acid. Some varieties yield over four gallons of must to the

bushel. Wine-makers are divided in opinion as to its value for

wine-making, but at present the most promising outlook for

Rotundifolia varieties is as wine, grape-juice and culinary grapes.

Rotundifolia does not produce fruit suitable for shipping as dessert

grapes chiefly because the berries ripen unevenly and when ripe drop

from the cluster. The common method of gathering the fruit of this

species is to shake the vines at intervals so that the ripe berries

drop on sheets spread below the vines. The juice which exudes from the

point where the stem is broken off causes the berries to become

smeared and gives them an unattractive appearance. Owing, however, to

the tough skin, the berries do not crack as badly as other grapes

would under the same conditions, but nevertheless they are not adapted

to long-distance shipments. Under reasonably favorable conditions, the

vines attain great age and size and when grown on arbors, as they

often are, and without pruning, they cover a large area.

Rotundifolia is remarkably resistant to the attacks of all insects and

to fungal diseases. The phylloxera do not attack its roots and it is

considered as resistant as any other, if not the most resistant of all

American species. The vines are grown from cuttings only with

difficulty and this prevents the use of this species as a resistant

stock. However, under favorable circumstances, and with skillful

handling, this is a successful method of propagation. Under

unfavorable circumstances, or when only a few vines are desired, it is

better to depend on layers. As a stock upon which to graft other

vines, this species has not been a success. There is great difficulty

in crossing Rotundifolia with other species, but several Rotundifolia

hybrids are now on record.

2. Vitis Munsoniana, Simpson. Florida Grape. Everbearing grape. Bird

Grape. Mustang Grape of Florida.

Vine slender, usually running on the ground or over low bushes.

Canes angular; internodes short; tendrils intermittent, simple.

Leaves smaller and thinner than Rotundifolia and rather more

circular in outline; not lobed; teeth open and spreading; petiolar

sinus V-shaped; both surfaces smooth, rather light green. Cluster

with more berries but about the same size as in Rotundifolia.

Berry one-third to one-half the diameter, with thinner and more

tender skin; black, shining; pulp less solid, more acid and

without muskiness. Seeds about one-half the size of those of

Rotundifolia, similar in other respects. Leafing, flowering and

ripening fruit very late.

The habitat of V. Munsoniana is central and southern Florida and the

Florida Keys. It extends south of the habitat of Rotundifolia and

blends into this species at their point of meeting. Munsoniana appears

to be a variation of Rotundifolia, fitted to subtropical conditions.

It is tender, not enduring a lower temperature than zero. In the

matter of multiplication, it differs from V. rotundifolia in that it

can be propagated readily from cuttings. Like Rotundifolia it is

resistant to phylloxera.

3. Vitis rupestris, Scheele. Mountain Grape. Rock Grape. Bush Grape.

Sand Grape. Sugar Grape. Beach Grape.

A small, much branched shrub or, under favorable circumstances,

climbing. Diaphragm thin; tendrils few, or if present, weak,

usually deciduous. Leaves small; young leaves frequently folded on

midrib; broadly cordate or reniform, wider than long, scarcely

ever lobed, smooth, glabrous on both surfaces at maturity;

petiolar sinus wide, shallow; margin coarsely toothed, frequently

a sharp, abrupt point at terminal. Cluster small. Berries small,

black or purple-black. Seeds small, not notched; beak short,

blunt; raphe distinct to indistinct, usually showing as a narrow

groove; chalaza pear-shaped, sometimes distinct, but usually a

depression only. Leafing, blossoming and ripening early.

This species is an inhabitant of southwestern Texas, extending

eastward and northward into New Mexico, southern Missouri, Indiana and

Tennessee to southern Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. Its

favorite places are gravelly banks and bars of mountain streams or the

rocky beds of dry watercourses. This species is rather variable both

in type and growth. It was introduced into France at about the same

time as Vulpina, and the French vineyardists selected the most

vigorous and healthy forms for grafting stock. These pass under the

various names of Rupestris Mission, Rupestris du Lot, Rupestris

Ganzin, Rupestris Martin, Rupestris St. George and others. In France,

these varieties have given particularly good results on bare, rocky

soils with hot, dry exposures. In California, Rupestris does not

flourish in dry locations, and as it suckers profusely and does not

take the graft as readily as Vulpina and AEstivalis, it is not largely


The clusters of fruit are small, with berries about the size of a

currant and varying from sweet to sour. The berry is characterized by

much pigment under the skin. The fruit has a sprightly taste wholly

free from any disagreeable foxiness. Rupestris under cultivation is

said to be very resistant to rot and mildew of the foliage. The vine

is considered hardy in the Southwest. The attention of hybridizers was

attracted to this species over thirty years ago, and various hybrids

have been produced of great promise for grape-breeding. The root

system of Rupestris is peculiar in that the roots penetrate at once

deeply into the ground instead of extending laterally as in other

species. Like those of Vulpina, the roots are slender, hard and

resistant to phylloxera. The species is easily propagated by cuttings.

The vines bench-graft readily but are difficult to handle in field


4. Vitis vulpina, Linn. (V. riparia, Michx.). Winter Grape. River

Grape. Riverside Grape. Riverbank Grape. Sweet-scented Grape.

Vine very vigorous, climbing. Shoots cylindrical or angled,

usually smooth, slender; diaphragms thin; tendrils intermittent,

slender, usually bifid. Leaves with large stipules; leaf-blade

large, thin, entire, three- or lower ones often five-lobed;

sinuses shallow, angular; petiolar sinus broad, usually shallow;

margin with incised, sharply serrate teeth of variable size; light

green, glabrous above, glabrous but sometimes pubescent on ribs

and veins below. Cluster small, compact, shouldered; peduncle

short. Berries small, black with a heavy blue bloom. Seeds two to

four, small, notched, short, plump, with very short beak; chalaza

narrowly oval, depressed, indistinct; raphe usually a groove,

sometimes distinct. Very variable in flavor and time of ripening.

Vulpina is the most widely distributed of any American species of

grape. It has been discovered in parts of Canada north of Quebec and

from thence southward to the Gulf of Mexico. It is found from the

Atlantic coast westward, most botanists say, to the Rocky Mountains.

Usually it grows on river banks, on islands or in upland ravines.

Vulpina has always been considered of great promise in the evolution

of American grapes. It can hardly be said that it has fulfilled

expectations, there probably being no pure variety of this species of

more than local importance, and the results of hybridizing it with

other species have not been wholly successful. Attention was early

turned to Vulpina because of the qualities presented by the vine

rather than those of the fruit, particularly its hardiness and vigor.

However, both of these qualities are rather variable, although it is

only reasonable to suppose that in such a widely distributed species,

plants found in a certain region would have adapted themselves to the

conditions there present; thus, it should be expected that the

northern plants would be more hardy than those from the South, and

that the western prairie forms would be more capable of resisting

drouth than those from humid regions. It is, consequently, impossible

to say what conditions best suit this species. It may be said,

however, that Vulpina is adapted to a great variety of soils and

locations; vines have withstood a temperature of 40 to 60 degrees

below zero and they show equal ability in withstanding the injurious

effects of high temperatures in the summer. On account of its habit of

early blooming, the blossoms sometimes suffer from late frosts in the


While Vulpina is not a swamp grape and is not found growing under

swampy conditions, it is fond of water. In the semi-arid regions

always, and in humid regions usually, it is found growing along the

banks of streams, in ravines, on the islands of rivers and in wet

places. It is not nearly so capable of withstanding drouth as

Rupestris. Vulpina likes a rather rich soil, but in France has been

found to do poorly on limestone land and calcareous marls. The French

tell us, however, that this is a characteristic of all our American

grapes, and that Vulpina is more resistant to the injurious effects of

an excess of lime than either Rupestris or AEstivalis.

The fruit of Vulpina is usually small, there being occasional

varieties of medium size or above. The clusters are of medium size

and, if judged from the standpoint of number of berries, might

frequently be called large. The flavor is usually sharply acid but

free from foxiness or any disagreeable wild taste. If eaten in

quantity, the acidity is likely to affect the lips and end of the

tongue. When the acidity is somewhat ameliorated, as in the case of

thoroughly ripe or even over-ripe and shriveled fruit, the flavor is

much liked. The flesh is neither pulpy nor solid and dissolves in the

mouth and separates readily from the seed. The must of Vulpina is

characterized by an average amount of sugar, varying considerably in

the fruit from different vines, and by an excess of acid.

Vulpina is very resistant to phylloxera, the roots are small, hard,

numerous and branch freely. The roots feed close to the surface and do

not seem to be well adapted to forcing their way through heavy clays.

Vulpina grows readily from cuttings and makes a good stock for

grafting, its union with other species being usually permanent. When

Vulpinas were first sent to France to be used as a stock in

reconstituting the French vineyards, it was found that many of the

vines secured from the woods were too weak in growth to support the

stronger-growing Viniferas. On this account the French growers

selected the more vigorous forms of the Vulpinas, to which they gave

varietal names, as Vulpina Gloire, Vulpina Grand Glabre, Vulpina

Schribner, Vulpina Martin and others. With these selected Vulpinas,

the graft does not outgrow the stock. Vulpina is less resistant to

black-rot than AEstivalis but somewhat more resistant than Labrusca.

The foliage is rarely attacked by mildew. One of the chief failings

of this species is the susceptibility of the leaves to the attack of

the leaf-hopper. The Vulpinas are generally late in ripening; the

fruit is better in quality in long seasons and should be left on the

vines as late as possible.

5. Vitis cordifolia, Michx. Winter Grape. Frost Grape. Fox Grape.

Chicken Grape. Heart-leaved Vitis. Possum Grape. Sour Winter Grape.

Vine very vigorous, climbing. Shoots slender; internodes long,

angular, usually glabrous, sometimes pubescent; diaphragms thick;

tendrils intermittent, long, usually bifid. Leaves with short,

broad stipules; leaf-blade medium to large, cordate, entire or

indistinctly three-lobed; petiolar sinus deep, usually narrow,

acute; margin with coarse angular teeth; point of leaf acuminate;

upper surface light green, glossy, glabrous; glabrous or sparingly

pubescent below. Clusters medium to large, loose, with long

peduncle. Berries numerous and small, black, shining, little or no

bloom. Seeds medium in size, broad, beak short; chalaza oval or

roundish, elevated, very distinct; raphe a distinct, cord-like

ridge. Fruit sour and astringent and frequently consisting of

little besides skins and seeds. Leafing, flowering and ripening

fruit very late.

Owing to the fact that Cordifolia and Vulpina have been badly

confused, the limits of the habitat of this species are difficult to

determine. The best authorities give the northern limit as New York or

the Great Lakes. The eastern limit is the Atlantic Ocean and the

southern limit, the Gulf of Mexico. It extends westward, according to

Engelmann, to the western limits of the wooded portion of the

Mississippi Valley in the North, and, according to Munson, to the

Brazos River, Texas, in the South. It is found along creeks and river

banks sometimes mixed with Vulpina, having about the same soil

adaptations as that species. It is a very common species in the middle

states and frequently grows on limestone soils, but is not indigenous

to such soils.

Cordifolia makes a good stock for grafting, being vigorous and forming

a good union with most of our cultivated grapes. It is seldom used

for this purpose, however, on account of the difficulty of propagating

it by means of cuttings. For the same reason vines of it are seldom

found in cultivation.

6. Vitis Berlandieri, Planch. Mountain-Grape. Spanish Grape. Fall

Grape. Winter Grape. Little Mountain Grape.

Vine vigorous, climbing; shoots more or less angled and pubescent;

pubescence remaining only in patches on mature wood; canes mostly

with short internodes; diaphragms thick; tendrils intermittent,

long, strong, bifid or trifid. Leaves with small stipules;

leaf-blade large, broadly cordate, notched or shortly three-lobed;

petiolar sinus rather open, V- or U-shaped, margin with broad but

rather shallow teeth, rather dark glossy green above, grayish

pubescence below when young; becoming glabrous and even glossy

except on ribs and veins, when mature. Clusters large, compact,

compound, with long peduncle. Berries small, black, with thin

bloom, juicy, rather tart but pleasant tasting when thoroughly

ripe. Seeds few, small, short, plump, oval or roundish, with short

beak; chalaza oval or roundish, distinct; raphe narrow, slightly

distinct to indistinct. Leafing, flowering and ripening fruit very


Berlandieri is a native of the limestone hills of southwest Texas and

adjacent Mexico. It grows in the same region with V. monticola, but

is less restricted locally, growing from the tops of the hills down

and along the creek bottoms of these regions. Its great virtue is that

it withstands a soil largely composed of lime, being superior to all

other American species in this respect. This and its moderate degree

of vigor have recommended it to the French growers as a stock for

their calcareous soils. The roots are strong, thick, and very

resistant to phylloxera. It is propagated by cuttings with comparative

ease, but its varieties are variable, some not rooting at all easily.

While the fruit of this species shows a large cluster, the berries are

small and sour, and Berlandieri is not regarded as having promise for

culture in America.

7. Vitis aestivalis, Michx. Blue Grape. Bunch Grape. Summer Grape.

Little Grape. Duck-shot Grape. Swamp Grape. Chicken Grape. Pigeon


Vine very vigorous, shoots pubescent or smooth when young;

diaphragms thick; tendrils intermittent, usually bifid. Leaves

with short, broad stipules; leaf-blade large, thin when young but

becoming thick; petiolar sinus deep, usually narrow, frequently

overlapping; margin rarely entire, usually three- to five-lobed;

teeth dentate, shallow, wide; upper surface dark green; lower

surface with more or less reddish or rusty pubescence which, in

mature leaves, usually shows in patches on the ribs and veins;

petioles frequently pubescent. Clusters long, not much branched,

with long peduncle. Berries small, with moderate amount of bloom,

usually astringent. Seeds two to three, of medium size, plump,

smooth, not notched; chalaza oval, distinct; raphe a distinct

cord-like ridge. Leafing and ripening fruit late to very late.

The division of the original species has reduced the habitat

materially, confining it to the southeastern part of the United States

from southern New York to Florida and westward to the Mississippi

River. AEstivalis grows in thickets and openings in the woods and shows

no such fondness for streams as Vulpina, or for thick timber as

Labrusca, but is generally confined to uplands. Under favorable

circumstances, the vines grow to be very large. AEstivalis is

preeminently a wine grape. The fruit usually has a tart, acrid taste,

due to the presence of a high percentage of acid, but there is also a

large amount of sugar, the scale showing that juice from this species

has a much higher percentage of sugar than the sweeter-tasting

Labruscas. The wine made from varieties of AEstivalis is very rich in

coloring matter and is used by some European vintners to mix with the

must of European sorts in order to give the combined product a higher

color. The berries are destitute of pulp, have a comparatively thin,

tough skin and a peculiar spicy flavor. The berries hang to the bunch

after becoming ripe much better than do those of Labrusca.

This species thrives in a lighter and shallower soil than Labrusca and

appears to endure drought better, although not equaling in this

respect either Vulpina or Rupestris. The French growers report that

AEstivalis is very liable to chlorosis on soils which contain much

lime. The leaves are never injured by the sun and they resist the

attacks of insects, such as leaf-hoppers, better than any other

American species under cultivation. AEstivalis is rarely injured by

black-rot or mildew, according to American experience, but French

growers speak of its being susceptible to both. The hard roots of

AEstivalis enable it to resist phylloxera, and varieties with any great

amount of the blood of this species are seldom seriously injured by

this insect. An objection to AEstivalis, from a horticultural

standpoint, is that it does not root well from cuttings. Many

authorities speak of it as not rooting at all from cuttings, but this

is an over-statement of the facts, as many of the wild and cultivated

varieties are occasionally propagated in this manner, and some

southern nurseries, located in particularly favorable situations, make

a practice of propagating it by this method. Varieties of this species

bear grafting well, especially in the vineyard.

Vitis aestivalis Lincecumii, Munson. Post-oak Grape. Pine-wood Grape.

Turkey Grape.

Vine vigorous, sometimes climbing high upon trees, sometimes

forming a bushy clump from two to six feet high; canes

cylindrical, much rusty wool on shoots; tendrils intermittent.

Leaves very large, almost as wide as long; entire or three-,

five-, or rarely seven-lobed; lobes frequently divided; sinuses,

including petiolar sinus, deep; smooth above, and with more or

less rusty pubescence below. (The north-Texas, southwestern

Missouri and northern Arkansas form shows little or no pubescence

but has fine prickly spines at base of shoots and shows much blue

bloom on shoots, canes and the under side of the leaves.) Fruit

small to large, usually larger than typical AEstivalis, usually

black, with heavy bloom. Seeds larger than AEstivalis, pear-shaped;

chalaza roundish.

Lincecumii inhabits the eastern half of Texas, western Louisiana,

Oklahoma, Arkansas and southern Missouri on high sandy land,

frequently climbing post-oak trees, hence the name, post-oak grape, by

which it is locally known.

Lincecumii has attracted considerable attention through the work of H.

Jaeger and T. V. Munson in domesticating it, both of whom considered

it one of the most, if not the most, promising form from which to

secure cultivated varieties for the Southwest. The qualities which

recommend it are: First, vigor; second, capacity to withstand rot and

mildew; third, hardiness and capacity to endure hot and dry summers

without injury; fourth, the large cluster and berry which were found

on certain of the wild vines. The fruit is characteristic because of

its dense bloom, firm, yet tender texture and peculiar flavor. The

cultivated varieties have given satisfaction in many sections of the

Central Western and Southern states. Like AEstivalis, it is difficult

to propagate from cuttings.

The north-Texas glaucous form of this variety mentioned in the

technical description above is the V. aestivalis glauca of Bailey.

This is the type of Lincecumii that Munson has used in breeding work.

Vitis aestivalis Bourquiniana, Bailey. Southern AEstivalis.

Bourquiniana differs chiefly from the type in having thinner leaves;

the shoots and under side of the leaves are only slightly

reddish-brown in color; the pubescence usually disappears at maturity;

the leaves are more deeply lobed than is common in AEstivalis; and the

fruit is larger, sweeter and more juicy. Bourquiniana is known only in

cultivation. The name was given by Munson, who ranks the group as a

species. He includes therein many southern varieties, the most

important of which are: Herbemont, Bertrand, Cunningham and Lenoir,

grouped in the Herbemont section; and Devereaux, Louisiana and Warren,

in the Devereaux section. Munson has traced the history of this

interesting group and states that it was brought from southern France

to America over one hundred fifty years ago by the Bourquin family of

Savannah, Georgia. Many botanists are of the opinion that

Bourquiniana is a hybrid. The hybrid supposition is corroborated to a

degree by the characters being more or less intermediate between the

supposed parent species, and also by the fact that up to date no wild

form of Bourquiniana has been found. The only northern variety of any

importance supposed to have Bourquiniana blood is the Delaware, and in

this variety only a fraction of Bourquiniana blood is presumably

present. Bourquiniana can be propagated from cuttings more easily than

the typical AEstivalis but not so readily as Labrusca, Vulpina or

Vinifera. Many of the varieties of Bourquiniana show a marked

susceptibility to mildew and black-rot; in fact, the whole Herbemont

group is much inferior in this respect to the Norton group of

AEstivalis. The roots are somewhat hard, branch rather freely and are

quite resistant to phylloxera.

8. Vitis bicolor, Le Conte. Blue Grape. Northern Summer Grape.

Northern AEstivalis.

Vine vigorous, climbing; shoots cylindrical or angled, with long

internodes, generally glabrous, usually showing much blue bloom,

sometimes spiny at base; diaphragms thick; tendrils intermittent,

long, usually bifid. Leaves with short, broad stipules; leaf-blade

large; roundish-cordate, usually three-, sometimes on older growth

shallowly five-lobed, rarely entire; petiolar sinus variable in

depth, usually narrow; margin irregularly dentate; teeth

acuminate; glabrous above, usually glabrous below and showing much

blue bloom which sometimes disappears late in the season; young

leaves sometimes pubescent; petioles very long. Cluster of medium

size, compact, simple; peduncle long. Berries small, black with

much bloom, acid but pleasant tasting when ripe. Seeds small,

plump, broadly oval, very short beak; chalaza oval, raised,

distinct; raphe distinct, showing as a cord-like ridge.

Bicolor is readily distinguished from AEstivalis by the absence of the

reddish pubescence and by blooming slightly later. The habitat of

Bicolor is to the north of that of AEstivalis, occupying the

northeastern, whereas AEstivalis occupies the southeastern quarter of

the United States. Like AEstivalis, this species is not confined to

streams and river banks but frequently grows on higher land also. It

is found in north Missouri, Illinois, southwestern Wisconsin, Indiana,

southern Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York,

southwestern Ontario, New Jersey and Maryland and by some botanists is

reported as far south as western North Carolina and west Tennessee.

The horticultural characters of Bicolor are much the same as those of

AEstivalis. About the only points of difference are that it is much

hardier (some of the Wisconsin vines stand a temperature as low as 20

degrees below zero); it is said to be slightly less resistant to

mildew and more resistant to phylloxera. Like AEstivalis, Bicolor does

not thrive on limy soils and it is difficult to propagate from

cuttings. The horticultural possibilities of Bicolor are probably much

the same as those of AEstivalis, although many think it to be more

promising for the North. It is as yet cultivated but little. Its chief

defect for domestication is the small size of the fruit.

9. Vitis candicans, Englem. Mustang Grape.

Vine very vigorous, climbing; shoots and petioles densely wooly,

whitish or rusty; diaphragm thick; tendrils intermittent. Leaves

with large stipules; blade small, broadly cordate to

reniform-ovate, entire or in young shoots and on young vines and

sprouts usually deeply three- to five-, or even seven-lobed; teeth

shallow, sinuate; petiolar sinus shallow, wide, sometimes lacking;

dull, slightly rugose above, dense whitish pubescence below.

Clusters small. Berries medium to large, black, purple, green, or

even whitish, thin blue bloom or bloomless. Seeds usually three or

four, large, short, plump, blunt, notched; chalaza oval,

depressed, indistinct; raphe a broad groove.

The habitat of this grape extends from southern Oklahoma, as a

northern limit, southwesterly into Mexico. The western boundary is the

Pecos River. It is found on dry, alluvial, sandy or limestone bottoms

or on limestone bluff lands and is said to be especially abundant

along upland ravines. Candicans grows well on limestone lands,

enduring as much as 60 per cent of carbonate of lime in the soil. The

species blooms shortly before Labrusca and a week later than Vulpina.

It requires the long hot summers of its native country and will stand

extreme drouth but is not hardy to cold, 10 or 15 degrees below zero

killing the vine outright unless protected; and a lesser degree of

cold injuring it severely. The berries, which are large for wild

vines, have thin skins under which there is a pigment which gives

them, when first ripe, a fiery, pungent taste but which partly

disappears with maturity. The berries are very persistent, clinging to

the pedicel long after ripe. Candicans is difficult to propagate from

cuttings. Its roots resist phylloxera fairly well. It makes a good

stock for Vinifera vines in its native country, but owing to the

difficulty of propagation is seldom used for that purpose. In the

early days of Texas, it was much used for the making of wine but as it

is deficient in sugar, and as the must retains the acrid, pungent

flavor, it does not seem to be well adapted for this purpose. It is

not regarded as having great promise for southern horticulture and

certainly has none for the North.

10. Vitis Labrusca, Linn. Fox-Grape.

Vine vigorous, stocky, climbing; shoots cylindrical, densely

pubescent; diaphragms medium to thick; tendrils continuous,

strong, bifid or trifid. Leaves with long, cordate stipules;

leaf-blade large, thick, broadly cordate or round; entire or

three-lobed, frequently notched; sinuses rounded; petiolar sinus

variable in depth and width, V-shaped; margin with shallow,

acute-pointed, scalloped teeth; upper surface rugose, dark green,

on young leaves pubescent, becoming glabrous when mature; lower

surface covered with dense pubescence, more or less whitish on

young leaves, becoming dun-colored when mature. Clusters more or

less compound, usually shouldered, compact; pedicels thick;

peduncle short. Berries round; skin thick, covered with bloom,

with strong musky or foxy aroma. Seeds two to four, large,

distinctly notched, beak short; chalaza oval in shape, indistinct,

showing as a depression; raphe, a groove.

Labrusca is indigenous to the eastern part of North America, including

the region between the Atlantic Ocean and the Alleghany Mountains. It

is sometimes found in the valleys and along the western slopes of the

Alleghanies. Many botanists say it never occurs in the Mississippi

Valley. In the first-named area it ranges from Maine to Georgia. It

has the most restricted habitat of any American species of

horticultural importance, being much exceeded in extent of territory

by V. rotundifolia, V. aestivalis and V. vulpina.

Labrusca has furnished more cultivated varieties, either pure-breeds

or hybrids, than all other American species together. The reason for

this is partly, no doubt, that it is native to the portion of the

United States first settled and is the most common grape in the region

where agriculture first advanced to the condition at which fruits were

desired. This does not wholly account for its prominence, however,

which must be sought elsewhere. In its wild state, Labrusca is

probably the most attractive to the eye of any of our American grapes

on account of the size of its fruit, and this undoubtedly turned the

attention of those who were early interested in the possibilities of

American grape-growing to this species rather than to any other.

The southern Labrusca is quite different from the northern form and

demands different conditions for its successful growth; in the North,

at least two types of the species may be distinguished. Vines are

found in the woods of New England which resemble Concord very closely

in both vine and fruit, excepting that the grapes are much smaller in

size and more seedy. There is also the large-fruited, foxy Labrusca,

usually with reddish berries, represented by such cultivated varieties

as Northern Muscadine, Dracut Amber, Lutie and others. Labrusca is

peculiar amongst American grapes in showing black-, white- and

red-fruited forms of wild vines growing in the woods. Because of this

variability, it is impossible to give the exact climatic and soil

conditions best adapted to the species. It is reasonable to suppose,

however, that the ideal conditions for this species under cultivation

are not widely different from those prevailing where the species is

indigenous. In the case of Labrusca, this means that it is best

adapted to humid climates, and that the temperature desired varies

according to whether the variety comes from the southern or northern

form of the species.

The root system of Labrusca does not penetrate the soil deeply, but

the vine is said to succeed better in deep and clayey soils than

AEstivalis. It endures an excess of water in the soil, and, on the

other hand, requires less water for successful growing than AEstivalis

or Vulpina. In spite of its ability to withstand clayey soils, it

seems to prefer loose, warm, well-drained sandy lands to all others.

The French growers report that all varieties of this species show a

marked antipathy to a limestone soil, the vines soon becoming affected

with chlorosis when planted in soils of this nature. In corroboration

of this, it may be said that Labrusca is not often found wild in

limestone soils. The Labruscas succeed very well in the North and

fairly well in the Middle West as far south as Arkansas, where they

are raised on account of their fruit qualities, for here the vines are

not nearly so vigorous and healthy as are those of other species. In

Alabama, they are reported to be generally unsatisfactory, and in

Texas the vines are short-lived, unhealthy, and generally

unsatisfactory, particularly in the dry regions. There are some

exceptions to this, as for instance, in the Piedmont region of the

Carolinas, where, owing to elevation or other causes, the climate of a

southern region is semi-northern in its character.

The grapes of Labrusca are large and usually handsomely colored. The

skin is thick, covering a layer of adhering flesh, which gives the

impression of its being thicker than it actually is; the berry is

variable in tenderness, sometimes tough, but in many cultivated

varieties is so tender that it cracks in transportation. The skin of

this species usually has a peculiar aroma, generally spoken of as

foxy, and a slightly acid, astringent taste. Beneath the skin there is

a layer of juicy pulp, quite sweet and never showing much acidity in

ripe fruit. The center of the berry is occupied by rather dense pulp,

more or less stringy, with considerable acid close to the seeds. Many

object to the foxy aroma of this species, but, nevertheless, the most

popular American varieties are more or less foxy. Analyses show that

the fruit is usually characterized by a low percentage of sugar and

acid, the very sweet-tasting fox-grapes not showing as high a

sugar-content as some of the disagreeably tart AEstivalis and Vulpina

sorts. This, in addition to the foxiness which furnishes an excess of

aroma in the wine, has prevented Labrusca varieties from becoming

favorites with the wine-makers, but most of the grape-juice now

manufactured is made from them.

In addition to the characters enumerated, it may be said that Labrusca

submits well to vineyard culture, is fairly vigorous and generally

quite productive. It grows readily from cuttings and in hardiness is

intermediate between Vulpina, the hardiest of our American species,

and AEstivalis. The roots are soft and fleshy (for an American grape)

and in some localities subject to attacks of phylloxera. None of the

varieties of Labrusca has ever been popular in France on this account.

In the wild vines, the fruit is inclined to drop when ripe. This

defect is known as "shattering" or "shelling" among grape-growers and

is a serious weakness in some varieties. Labrusca is said to be more

sensitive in its wild state to mildew and black-rot than any other

American species, but the evidence on this point does not seem to be

wholly conclusive. In the South, and in some parts of the Middle West,

the leaves of all varieties of Labrusca sunburn and shrivel in the

latter part of the summer. The vines do not endure drouth as well as

AEstivalis or Vulpina and not nearly so well as Rupestris.

11. Vitis vinifera, Linn.

Vine variable in vigor, not so high climbing as most American

species; tendrils intermittent. Leaves round-cordate, thin,

smooth, and when young, shining, frequently more or less deeply

three-, five-, or even seven-lobed; usually glabrous but in some

varieties the leaves and young shoots are hairy and even downy

when young; lobes rounded or pointed; teeth variable; petiolar

sinus deep, narrow, usually overlapping. Berries very variable in

size and color, usually oval though globular. Seeds variable in

size and shape, usually notched at upper end and characterized

always by a bottle-necked, elongated beak; chalaza broad, usually

rough, distinct; raphe indistinct. Roots large, soft and spongy.

The original habitat of the species is not positively known. De

Candolle, as noted in the first part of this work, considered the

region about the Caspian Sea as the probable habitat of the Old World

grape. There is but little doubt that the original home of V.

vinifera is some place in western Asia.

Neither American nor European writers agree as to the climate desired

by Vinifera, for the reason, probably that all of the varieties in

this variable species do not require the same climatic conditions.

There are certain phases of climate, however, that are well agreed on:

the species requires a warm, dry climate and is more sensitive to

change of temperature than American species. Varieties of this species

can be grown successfully in a wide variety of soils, being much less

particular as to soils than American sorts.

Certain characters of the fruit of this species are not found in any

American forms: First, the skin, which is attached very closely to the

flesh and which is never astringent or acid, can be eaten with the

fruit; second, the flesh is firm, yet tender, and uniform throughout,

differing in this respect from all American grapes which have a sweet,

watery and tender pulp close to the skin with a tough and more or less

acid core at the center; third, the flavor has a peculiarly sprightly

quality known as vinous; fourth, the berry adheres firmly to the

pedicel, the fruit seldom "shattering" or "shelling" from the cluster.

In the various hybrids that have been made between American and

Vinifera varieties, it is usually found that the desirable qualities

of Vinifera are inherited in about the same proportion as the

undesirable ones. The fruit is improved in the hybrid but the vine is

weakened; quality is usually purchased at the expense of hardiness and

disease-resisting power. Vinifera may be grown very readily from


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