Scientific Name: – Vitis rotundifolia
Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) is a grapevine species native to the present-day southeastern United States that has been extensively cultivated since the 16th century. Its natural range is recognized in the following states of the US: Alabama, Arkansas, the Carolinas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The plants are well adapted to their native warm and humid climate; they need fewer chilling hours than better known varieties and they thrive on summer heat. Muscadine berries range from bronze to dark purple to black in color when ripe. However, many wild varieties stay green through maturity. They have skin sufficiently tough that eating the raw fruit often involves biting a small hole in the skin to suck out the pulp inside. Muscadines are not only eaten fresh, but also are used in making wine, juice, and jelly. Muscadine grapes are rich sources of polyphenols and other nutrients studied for their potential health benefits. Gallic acid, (+)-catechin and epicatechin are the major phenolics in seeds, while ellagic acid, myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, and trans-resveratrol are the major phenolics in the skins. In a natural setting, muscadines are important plants for improving wildlife habitat by providing cover, browse, and fruit for a wide variety of animals.