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Muscadines are vigorous, deciduous vines growing 60-100 ft. in the wild. Botanically, they differ in significant ways from other grapes and are placed in a separate sub-genus, Muscadinia. In contrast to most other grapes, muscadines have a tight, non-shedding bark, warty shoots and unbranched tendrils. The slightly lobed, 2-1/2 to 5 inch leaves are rounded to broadly ovate with coarsely serrate edges and an acuminate point. Dark green above and green tinged yellow beneath, the leaves are glossy on both sides, becoming firm and subglabrous at maturity. Muscadines are dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. The small, greenish flowers are borne in short, dense panicles. It appears that both wind and insects play a role in the pollination of the female flowers. Breeding and selection have produced self-fertile varieties with near-perfect flowers, which also serve as a pollen sources for the female plants. For best results a perfect-flowered vine should be within 25 ft. of female vines, or every third vine when planted in a mixed single row. Muscadines do not readily hybridize with other grape species. The fruit is borne in small, loose clusters of 3-40 grapes, quite unlike the large, tight bunches characteristic of European and American grapes. The round, 1 to 1-1/2 inch fruits have a thick, tough skin and contain up to 5 hard, oblong seeds. In color the fruits range from greenish bronze through bronze, pinkish red, purple and almost black.
Edge of woods, climbing up into the trees.