The Differences Between Scuppernong & Muscadine

Scuppernong and muscadine are funny-sounding names which represent a indigenous botanical delight. They’re among native U.S. fruits — a grape species which varies in taste and appearance from the familiar bunch grapes which are available in supermarkets. All of scuppernongs are muscadines, but not all muscadines are scuppernongs. Their primary difference lies in their relationship to each other; one really is a cultivar of another.


Of the four primary grape species which are cultivated at the U.S., muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) is just one of both native types. Muscadine prospers in the hot, humid southeastern regions of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 and hotter, while the indigenous labrusca grape (V. labrusca) thrives in colder regions, up to zone 5. French hybrid grapes are crosses of the labrusca grape and European species (V. vinifera), that can be the darlings of California vineyards. The California Rare Fruit Growers site notes that though muscadine might be elongated in Mediterranean areas, it does not satisfy its possible there due to insufficient heat and heat.


Even though muscadine vines do not prosper in California vineyards, their origins are used as grafting stock. Muscadine is a difficult plant which has natural pest and disease resistance, which makes it among the favored choices on which viticulturists graft other species. Unlike table grapes that ripen concurrently in a pendulous crowd, muscadines ripen separately in loose clusters. Compared to other grape species, muscadine grapevines may produce almost eight-fold yields of different grapes. While bunch grapes yield roughly 8 pounds of fruit per vine, muscadine can create up to 60 pounds.


Even though muscadine cultivars cover a variety of colorful colors, there are two primary color types — dark (or purple) and bronze. “Scuppernong” is a bronze grape which has been the very first muscadine cultivar, so-named due to its discovery along the Scuppernong River at North Carolina. The original mother vine is about Roanoke Island, where it has been growing and producing for several hundred yearsago Due to its botanical primogeniture, the common title scuppernong entered common usage to refer to some bronze muscadine grape. Botanical correctness dictates that “Scuppernong” should only designate the cultivar rather than all color types.

Reproductive Types

Muscadine vines are of two reproductive types — those that bear perfect blossoms, which contain both male and female components, and the ones that bear only female or pistillate flowers. Perfect-flowered types are self-fruitful, meaning they can pollinate themselves to set fruit. “Scuppernong” vines are exclusively female, which means that you need to plant another perfect-flowered cultivar within 25 feet for successful pollination. Wind facilitates pollination, although small native bees, especially of the Halictidae family, are primary pollinators.

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