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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
6 HUME LIBRARY
GRAPE VARIETIES AND ROOTSTOCKS FOR FLOR DAU
By J. A. Mortensen and C. F. Balerdi JUL 24 1972
Practically all varieties of bunch grapes that originated out-
side of Florida (such as 'Concord', 'Fredonia', 'The s S d es.1l
'Tokay', and 'Ribier') are unsuccessful in Florida. *Y~i l
problem is Pierce s disease, a disease transmitted by ieea oppers,
which causes leaf marginal burning, interveinal yellowing, dwarfed
growth, dieback, browning of vascular tissue, decline of vigor, and
death of the vine. Delayed foliation in the spring and sudden
wilting and drying of leaves may also occur.
Varieties of bunch grapes resistant to Pierce's disease have
been developed through a grape breeding program. Four have been
released by the Agricultural Research Center in Leesburg (Table 1):
(1) Lake Emerald, released in 1954, has a light green to golden
colored fruit reaching maturity in late July. It makes excellent
wine and pancake syrup, and is suitable for home gardens throughout
the state. It cannot be used as a table grape because the bunches
become unsightly within hours after nicking, and berries null loose
during shipping. Because of its robust growth, it is also recommended
as a rootstock.
(2) Blue Lake, released in 1960, has a blue to purple color at
maturity in mid-July. It is especially adapted for grape jelly and,
where blended, for juice. It is used for wine to some extent. The
fruit may also be eaten fresh, and withstands local market handling.
It is widely adapted from Dade to Escambia Counties.
(3) Norris, released in 1967, has a large, purple fruit with
attractive bloom; it ripens in mid-late July. It is suitable as a
table grape, and is often preferred because its berries are larger
than those of other varieties. Since this variety is susceptible
to anthracnose it should always be grown in full sunlight, and should
be sprayed regularly with fungicides. It's range of adaptability seems
to run from Putnam and Alachua Counties southward to Lake Okeechobee
(not adapted in North and West Florida). It is not self-fertile,
requiring 'Blue Lake' or 'Lake Emerald' as pollinators. Several
growers have reported straggly set clusters in this variety.
(4) Stover, released in 1968, has light green to golden fruit
of mild flavor; it ripens in early July. It is primarily a table
variety, holding reasonably well in cold storage and marketing.
Because of a tendency for cluster stems to dry, it is best marketed
in polyethylene bags. 'Stover' is also suitable for wine, according
to recent tests at Gainesville. 'Stover' begins bud growth early,
rendering it more subject to late frost damage than other varieties.
For this reason it is not recommended for North or West Florida.
Mimeo Report 71-5, June 25, 1971
Agricultural Research Center, Leesburg, Florida
The recommended range is from Dade County northward to Putnam and
Alachua Counties. 'Stover' is susceptible to anthracnose, and
should be sprayed regularly with fungicides.
Rootstocks tend to boost vigor and yield of bunch grapes in
Florida. A satisfactory rootstock must be vigorous and resistant to
Pierce's disease, nematodes, and drouth. It also must root well from
cuttings and be compatible with the scion variety grafted on it. Two
rootstocks are presently recommended for bunch grapes in Florida:
Dog Ridge, originated from the wild in Texas, has outstanding
vigor and resistance to nematodes, drouth, and Pierce's disease. It
is generally compatible with most scions of bunch grapes. It roots
reasonably well from cuttings in sandy soil, but is more difficult
to root in heavy-textured soil. It is widely propagated in Califor-
nia sandy land. It grows well in the Gulf Coast states, including
Florida. Areas previously in citrus, peaches, or grapes should be
planted to 'Dog Ridge', since nematodes are apt to be troublesome.
'Dog Ridge' continues growth late in the fall, and its leaves may be
killed by freezes. However, no serious damage to the vine is
apparent other than dead leaves. It is susceptible to grape rust.
Lake Emerald, described above, has sufficient vigor in most
Florida locations to perform well as a rootstock. It is tolerant
of nematodes, Pierce's disease, and drouth. It roots well from
cuttings, and is compatible in grafting with most scion varieties
of bunch grapes. Occasionally, 'Lake Emerald' may develop symptoms
of Pierce's disease, but it usually recovers normal growth. It is
adapted from Dade County to Escambia County in well drained soil,
or on raised beds in poorly drained soil.
Muscadine grapes normally do well on their own roots, and
grafting to rootstocks has not been necessary.
Table 1. Florida bunch grape varieties.
Characteristic Emerald Lake Norris Stover
Yield high high high" m. high
Bunch size large medium large medium
Berry size medium medium large medium
Color It. green purple purple golden
% Sugar 20.5 16.1 17.5 17.5
Acid 1.19 1.06 1.02 0.70
Sugar:acid ratio 17.2 15.2 17.2 25.0
Flavor 6 5 7 8
Vigor exc. exc. v. good v. good
Approx. date ripe 7/30 7/16 7/24 7/6
Self-fertile yes yes no* yes
Needs a rootstock no no yes"* yes
* Yields are high when adequately pollinated (use a oollinator vari-
ety every third row, or every third vine in a single row planting).
* Rootstock not required in central ridge area, but recommended
1 Arbitrary flavor scale: 1, poor; 5, medium; 10, excellent.
Tables 2 through 5 below give the characteristics of the musca-
Sine varieties recommended for Florida. The market appeal of 'Fry',
'Higgins', and 'Cowart' is especially good, but 'Southland' is prob-
ably the best muscadine variety. All the varieties are resistant
to Pierce's disease.
.able 2. Black, self-fertile muscadines (can use as pollinator.),
Characteristic Southland Magoon Chief Cowart Albemarle
Yield high high high medium medium
Size (grams) 5.7 3.6 4.0 6.8 4.1
% Sugar 16.1 18.4 15.8 14.1 18.3
Acid 0.28 0.28 0.52 0.24 0.44
3ugar:acid ratio 57.5 65.7 30.4 58.8 41.6
Flavor1 8 9 6 8 8
Mech. harvest yes yes yes yes(?) -yes(?)
V_ :or v.good good exc. good goad
table 3. Black, female muscadines (require pollinator).
Characteristic Hunt Thomas Jumbo Dulcet
Yield high high m.high high
Size (grams) 4.8 3.9 7.1 31.
% Sugar 16.0 18.8 15.8 16.3
Acid 0.47 0.32 0.19 0.23
Sugar:acid ratio 34.0 58.8 83.1 70.8
Flavor1 8 7 8 8
Mech. harvest no(?) yes no no
igor exc. exc. good exc.
'.able 4. Bronze, self-fertile muscadines (can use as pollinator).
Characteristic Magnolia Carlos Chowan
Yield med. m.high med.
Size (grams) 4.8 3.8 5(?)
? Sugar 18.4 14.0 18.0
.cid 0.29 0.32 (?)
Sugar:acid ratio 63.4 43.8 (?)
Flavor 7 6 8
Mech. harvest no yes yes(?)
Vigor good v.good good
Table 5. Bronze, female muscadines (require pollinator).
Characteristic Fry Higgins Yuga
Yield m.high m.high med.
Size (grams) 6.7 8.0 4.3
% Sugar 16.9 14.6 18.6
Acid 0.32 0.22 0.44
Sugar:acid ratio 52.8 66.4 42.3
Flavor 9 8 8
Mech. harvest no no no
Vigor v.good exc. exc.
Arbitrary scale: 1, poor; 5, medium; 10, excellent.