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Vitis labrusca (Fox Grape)

Fox Grape, Vitis labrusca var. subedentata

Vitis labrusca, Fox Grape, Grape Vines, Blue Grapes, Seedless Grapes
Vitis labrusca, Fox Grape, Grape Vines, Blue Grapes, Seedless Grapes

Cultivated for its edible fruit, Vitis labrusca (Fox Grape) is a vigorous deciduous vine that produces medium-sized grapes of glossy, juicy, blue-black grapes in late mid-season. The grapes are noted for having slip-skins (the skin easily slips off when squeezed) and a sweet, earthy muskiness (foxy smell and flavor). The foliage of large, three-lobed, deep green leaves, 4-6 in. long (10-15 cm), is fuzzy with brown-gray hairs on the underside. In summer, small greenish-yellow flowers are borne in racemes on short branches. They are reported to have the sweet, musky fragrance of mignonette. Fox Grape climbs by means of tendrils. It grows well into trees or sprawls over low-growing shrubs. Native to eastern North America, Fox Grape is the parent of many grape cultivars, including Catawba, Concord, Delaware, Isabella, Niagara, and many hybrid grape varieties. Vitis labrusca has some natural resistance to many grape diseases, including phylloxera, which almost destroyed the European grape crops. This species can be used as a rootstock in areas where the disease is prevalent. Easy to grow, Grape vines not only reward you with large crops of delicious fruits. They are also very decorative, providing a handsome leafy cover that clothes arbors, fences, or trellises beautifully. Fox Grape is also beneficial to wildlife. Many species of bees cross-pollinate the flowers, and many birds and mammals consume the grapes. Because of the dense leafy cover that the vine provides, it becomes a hiding place for many kinds of wildlife and a nesting habitat for birds.

  • Grow up to 15-20 ft. tall and wide (450-600 cm). It will spread by self-seeding.
  • Thrives in full sun in deep, loamy, well-drained soils. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, but good drainage is essential. It is best sited in a location sheltered from winter winds (preferably a sunny south-facing slope) and well removed from frost pockets. Needs good air circulation.
  • Grape vines require sturdy support for their twining stems, such as pergolas, walls, or fences. Perfect in cottage gardens or Mediterranean gardens.
  • Pruning should be carried out in winter when the plant is dormant to avoid bleeding.
  • Keep an eye out for anthracnose, black rot, downy mildew, powdery mildew, gray mold or botrytis, crown gall, botrytis bunch rot, grape berry moth, Japanese beetles, leafhoppers, leaf roller, mealybugs, spotted wing drosophila and flea beetles.
  • Propagate by cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth or layering.
  • Native to eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 2 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Plant Type Climbers, Fruits, Shrubs
Plant Family Vitaceae
Genus Vitis
Common names Grape
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Spread 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Maintenance Low, Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Midwest, Michigan, Ohio, Southeast, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Vitis californica (California Grape)
Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine)
Vitis ‘Brianna’ (Grape Vine)
Vitis ‘Canadice’ (Fox Grape)
Vitis ‘King of the North’ (Fox Grape)
Vitis vinifera ‘Pinot Meunier’ (Grape Vine)

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Great Climbers and Vines for Mediterranean Gardens in Cool Countries
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 2 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Plant Type Climbers, Fruits, Shrubs
Plant Family Vitaceae
Genus Vitis
Common names Grape
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Spread 15' - 20'
(4.6m - 6.1m)
Maintenance Low, Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Midwest, Michigan, Ohio, Southeast, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Vitis (Grapevine)
Not sure which Vitis (Grapevine) to pick?
Compare Now

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