Plant DetailShow Menu

Vitis rotundifolia

Previously known as:

  • Muscadinia rotundifolia var. rotundifolia
Phonetic Spelling
VEE-tiss ro-tun-dih-FOH-lee-uh
Description

Vitis rotundifolia, commonly called the Muscadine Grape is a native, deciduous climbing vine unique to the American South. In nature, it is typically found in dry upland forests with especially sandy or rocky soil, swamps, roadsides, and thickets. It is the most common and familiar grape.

Muscadine grapes are large and have a thick skin, but are good for eating and wine-making due to their sweet, pungent flavor. The height and width of the vine vary due to the amount of support that the vine receives. Muscadine Grape is dioecious, meaning that a male and female or perfect flowering cultivar is needed to produce fruit. 

Differing from other grape species, the tendrils are simple, while other species have forked tendrils.

Fire Risk: This plant has an extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home.  

Their resistant to Pierce's disease and the insect phylloxera make this vine valuable as a commercial crop.  These diseases are widespread in the southeast US, killing the plants roots. 

While over 300 cultivars are sold in the Southeast United States, most are female. The cultivar 'Scuppernong' was named for the Scuppernong River in northeastern North Carolina.  The Scuppernong grape is the official state fruit of North Carolina.

Popular Cultivars

 

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Penny Perkins-Veazie, Professor and Postharvest Physiologist at NC State's Plants for Human Health Institute

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Nesbitt'
    Large, black, self-fertile, cold tolerant and in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars in NC.
  • 'Scuppernong'
    Bronze-colored fruit.
  • 'Summit'
    Large, bronze, cold hardy, female in top 5 fresh cultivars recommended in NC
  • 'Supreme'
    Very large, black, female in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars in NC.
  • 'Tara'
    Large, self-fertile, bronze in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars in NC
  • 'Triumph'
    Early ripening, self-fertile, bronze with red blush, in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars
'Nesbitt', 'Scuppernong', 'Summit', 'Supreme', 'Tara', 'Triumph'
Tags:
#cultivars#bees#fragrant#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#full sun#partial shade#showy berries#edible plant#wildlife plant#partial sun#woody#spring flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#berries#playground#coastal#showy fruits#flooding#moist soil#food source#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#vines#summer flowers#full sunlight#woody vine#dioecious#children's garden#native garden#edible landscaping#edible fruits#fall fruits#sunshine#summer interest#deciduous vine#fragrant fruits#spring interest#native vine#pollinator plant#childrens garden#edible garden#naturalized area#berry#mid-summer flowers#food source summer#vertical spaces#edible#food source fall#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#flowering vine#wet soils tolerant#fruits#native#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#vine#food source mid-summer#fruits early fall#fruit#audubon#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Nesbitt'
    Large, black, self-fertile, cold tolerant and in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars in NC.
  • 'Scuppernong'
    Bronze-colored fruit.
  • 'Summit'
    Large, bronze, cold hardy, female in top 5 fresh cultivars recommended in NC
  • 'Supreme'
    Very large, black, female in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars in NC.
  • 'Tara'
    Large, self-fertile, bronze in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars in NC
  • 'Triumph'
    Early ripening, self-fertile, bronze with red blush, in the top 5 fresh-eating cultivars
'Nesbitt', 'Scuppernong', 'Summit', 'Supreme', 'Tara', 'Triumph'
Tags:
#cultivars#bees#fragrant#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#full sun#partial shade#showy berries#edible plant#wildlife plant#partial sun#woody#spring flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#berries#playground#coastal#showy fruits#flooding#moist soil#food source#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#vines#summer flowers#full sunlight#woody vine#dioecious#children's garden#native garden#edible landscaping#edible fruits#fall fruits#sunshine#summer interest#deciduous vine#fragrant fruits#spring interest#native vine#pollinator plant#childrens garden#edible garden#naturalized area#berry#mid-summer flowers#food source summer#vertical spaces#edible#food source fall#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#flowering vine#wet soils tolerant#fruits#native#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#vine#food source mid-summer#fruits early fall#fruit#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vitis
    Species:
    rotundifolia
    Family:
    Vitaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used this fruit for food, medicine, and in some ceremonies.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern United States
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    extreme flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, small mammals, squirrels, white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, and black bears. Thickets provide nesting cover for songbirds. Bees and other pollinators enjoy the nectar from the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer and will tolerate seasonal flooding.
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Twining
    Edibility:
    Fruit can be eaten fresh or is used to make wine and an assortment of jams, jellies, and other preserves.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Tendrils
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The vine produces 1/2 to 1 inch, dark purple or bronze, thick-skinned berries. In North Carolina, the grapes are primarily purple in color and are available from August to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The Muscadine Grape has small greenish-white flowers that mature in auxiliary panicles in the summer. In North Carolina, the flowers are available from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The shiny, rounded leaves are alternate with 3 lobes and a coarsely toothed margin.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Green
    Bark Description:
    The bark is smooth and dark greenish-brown in young vines. As the vine ages, the bark turns dark brown in color and develops vertical grooves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Multi-stemmed vine.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Vertical Spaces
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil