This page, titled Muscadine Plant Information | Great Escape Farms, goes over this unique edible plant and how to care for it as well as medicinal benefits.
The Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) is a grapevine species native to the southeastern and south-central US from Florida to Delaware, west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. Muscadine fruit range from bronze to dark purple to black in color when ripe with a few varieties staying green when ripe. There are over 300 varieites grown in the US. Many need a pollinizer, but some are self pollinating. A black self-fertile muscadine vine can pollinate a bronze female muscadine vine and vice versa. Female Muscadine vines average 50-60 lbs of fruit per plant and 60-80 lbs per self-fertile muscadine vine. See the picture titled “Muscadine Plant Information | Great Escape Farms” for what the fruit looks like.
They grow well in sandy loam and like full sun. Muscadine are hardy in zones 7-9 and should not be grown in regions where temperatures frequently go below 10° F. They will be more cold hardy if planted against a south facing wall. They are very pest resistant and require little or no spraying.
Muscadines have a tight, non-shedding bark, warty shoots and unbranched tendrils. The leaves are slightly lobed, 2-1/2 to 5 inch with coarsely serrate edges and an acuminate point. The round, 1 to 1-1/2 inch fruits have a thick, tough skin and contain up to 5 hard, oblong seeds. Muscadine grapes start ripening mid September to late October.
There are several patented varieties out there. Below I have listed two varieties that use to be patented, the ISON and Late Fry. They were patented, but a plant patent runs only 20 years so the patent has expired on each of these varieties. While you can now legally propagate them, you can not market them with the name ISON and Late Fry, because the names are trade marked.
The Ison muscadine vine is a beautiful black variety that is the best self-fertile available. The Ison muscadine contains 19% sugar and has excellent size and production. The Ison muscadine skin is edible and the most nutritious part of the grape. The fruit ripens uniformly early to mid-season. They like full sun, moist, well drained soil and are deciduous. The mature height is10-15 ft. and they are hardy in USDA zones 7-10.
The Late Fry muscadine variety is another late season grape that is bronze and self-fertile. It produces delicious fruit that contains 20% sugar. The fruit is large and has high yields.
It is very cold hardy with delicious edible skin. They like full sun, moist, well drained soil and are deciduous. The mature height is 10-15 ft. and they are hardy to USDA zones 7-10.
The vines consist of the trunk, permanent arms, and the fruiting spurs. Pruning must be done each year to get a good yield of large fruit. Pruning should be done in winter or earliest spring, before the buds swell.
Muscadine can be eaten fresh, but are also used in making wine, juice, jelly, preserves, syrup, and sauce.
“Muscadine grapes contain substantial amounts of antioxidants, the beneficial phytochemicals that help protect cells from free-radical damage. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating a diet based on whole, antioxidant-rich foods has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases. A study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” found that muscadines are a particularly good source of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid appears to inhibit cancer cell reproduction, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Muscadine grapes also contain twice as much vitamin C as seedless grapes. You’ll get about 14 milligrams of this antioxidant, or 23 percent of the recommended daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet, from a serving of 35 grapes.” *
“Place about 2 cups of muscadine juice, white or red, in a tall-sided bowl. Set in microwave and cook at one minute intervals, stirring occasionally. Cook approximately a total of 7 minute-segments, until desired consistency. Do not overcook. Juice will have become more dense and can be used as a flavoring or sweetner for teas, lemonade, hot cereal, as an ingredient for other recipes.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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