Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Rhamnales>Vitaceae>Vitis rotundifolia Michaux

Muscadine is our most common and familiar grape, with roundish leaves and very sweet, thick-skinned berries.

Orange Co., NC 7/20/07.

The leaves are smaller and rounder than the other grape species in North Carolina.

Orange Co., NC 7/20/07.

Unripe berries are green.

Orange Co., NC 7/20/07.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Muscadine grapes ripen in late summer.

The berries are usually dark purple in the wild.

New Hanover Co., NC 8/30/08.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Not pictured, the oldest and most popular cultivated variety 'Scuppernong', which was named for the Scuppernong River in northeastern NC, has bronze-colored fruits. Scuppernong Grape is the official state fruit of North Carolina.

New Hanover Co., NC 8/30/08.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

The tendrils are simple, unlike our other grape species, which have forked tendrils.

Durham, NC 9/11/08.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Typical form

Orange Co., NC 7/20/07.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Chapel Hill, NC 5/17/08.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)
Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Wake Co., NC 5/6/07.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Panicles of flowers begin to appear in mid-spring.

Wake Co., NC 5/6/07.

Orange Co., NC 7/20/07.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Branchlets are slightly angled; buds are rounded and brownish.

Orange Co., NC 3/20/10.

The bark is tight; the bark of our other grapes is shreddy.

Orange Co., NC 7/20/07.

Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia) Mother Vineyard

The Mother Vineyard on Roanoke Island is reputed to be the original source of the Scuppernong cultivar and was a large vine when the area was first settled by the English over 400 years ago. The very old grapevine on the arbor pictured at left is the largest one you can see in the area, but I'm not sure whether it's the original Mother Vineyard.

Fall color for all Muscadine Grapes is bright yellow.

Manteo, Dare Co., NC 11/7/08.

Mother Vineyard

The intersection of Scuppernong and Mother Vineyard is right across the street from the arbor above.

Manteo, Dare Co., NC 11/7/08.

More information:
Fruit Facts
Virginia Tech Dendrology
Winemaking

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina

cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text ©2011 by Will Cook