Vitis

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Vitis

Grapes
Close up grapes.jpg
Genus: Vitis
Family: Vitaceae
Type: Vines
Weediness: All species can be agressive
Pollination: Insects
Toxicity and edibility: Fruits and leaves are edible

A grape is the fruit that grows on the woody vines of the family Vitaceae. Grapes grow in clusters of 6 to 300, and can be black, blue, golden, green, purple, red, pink, brown, peach or white.

Description[edit]

Plants in this genus are woody vines which climb using tendrils. The alternate leaves are simple, palmately veined and often lobes. Flowers are produced in clusters of 6-300. The fruits are berries with 1-6 hard seeds.

Growing conditions[edit]

Species[edit]

Many species of grapevines exist, including:

  • Vitis vinifera, the European winemaking grapevine. Native to virtually all of mainland Europe.
  • Vitis labrusca, the North American table and grape juice grapevines, sometimes used for wine. Native to the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
  • Vitis riparia, a wild vine of North America, sometimes used for winemaking and for jam. Native to the entire Eastern U.S. and north to Quebec.
  • Vitis rotundifolia, the muscadines, used for jams and wine. Native to the Southeastern U.S. from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Vitis aestivalis, the variety Norton (AKA Cynthiana) is used for winemaking
  • Vitis lincecumii (also called Vitis aestivalis or Vitis lincecumii), Vitis berlandieri (also called Vitis cinerea var. helleri), Vitis cinerea, Vitis rupestris are used for making hybrid grapevines and for pest-resistant rootstocks.
  • Vitis arizonica A desert grapevine found in the southwestern US that is hardy against extremes of temperature. Can be used for wines.
  • Vitis californica A grapevine important to the California wine industry for its rootstock which is able to withstand pests and cooler weather. Native to California and Oregon.
  • Vitis vulpina Frost grape. Native to the Midwest east to the coast up through New York.

There are many varieties of grapevines; most are cultivars of V. vinifera.

Hybrid grapes also exist, and these are primarily crosses between Vitis vinifera and one or more varieties of Vitis labrusca, ../Vitis riparia/ or Vitis aestivalis. Hybrids tend to be less susceptible to frost and disease (notably phylloxera), but wine from some hybrids may have a little of the characteristic "foxy" odor of Vitis labrusca.

Uses[edit]

They can be eaten raw or used for making jam, grape juice, jelly, wine and grape seed oil. Cultivation of grapevines occurs in vineyards, and is calleviticulture. One who studies and practices growing grapes for wine is called a viticulturalist.

Raisins are the dried fruit of the grapevine, and the name actually comes from the French word for "grape". Wild grapevines are often considered a nuisance weed, as they cover other plants with their usually rather aggressive growth.

The leaves of the grape vine itself are considered edible and are used in the production of dolmades.

Maintenance[edit]

The most important maintenance requirement for grapes is regular pruning. Vines should be pruned back to spurs while dormant, in order to ensure good air circulation and keep the plants from getting out of hand.

Adequate calcium should be maintained in the soil if growing for fruit.

Propagation[edit]

Cultivars are almost always grafted.

Harvesting[edit]

Pests and diseases[edit]

Scorch, Wilt, Dieback

  • Xylella fastidiosa (Pierce’s Disease)

Powdery Mildews

Downy Mildews

Diebacks

  • Eutypa lata
  • Eutypa armeniacae

Bunch Rots

White Molds

Aphids

Scales

Hoppers

Mealybugs

Bugs

Flies

Beetles

Caterpillars

Sawflies

Wasps

  • Yellowjackets

Bees

  • Leafcutter Bees

Mites

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  • Cranshaw, Whitney (2004). Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs. Princeton University Press. pp. 625-626. 
  • Pippa Greenwood, Andrew Halstead, A.R. Chase, Daniel Gilrein (2000). American Horticultural Society Pests & Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying, and Treating Plant Problems (First Edition ed.). Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing, inc.. pp. 204.