It’s scuppernong time!

September 17, 2009

    Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Called a scuppernong or muscandine, the wild grape (Vitis rotundifolia) is valued for its edible, tasty fruit. Wild grape grows from Texas to south Florida, north to Delaware, and west to Missouri.

Currently bearing fruit along the Panhandle, the grapes are a favorite food source for white-tailed deer and other wildlife also eat the fruit, including black bear, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, raccoon, skunk, squirrel, and opossum. Songbirds such as cardinals, mockingbirds, robins, cedar waxwings, consume the fruit and are essential to the dispersal of wild grape seeds.

Humans also enjoy the unique fruity flavor of the grapes and make jellies, jams, juices, and wines from the fruit. Commercial production is small, but they are widely grown for home use and local markets in southeastern states. Native Americans in Florida also made a blue dye from the grapes.

Source: University of Florida, IFAS