Native Grapes in Mississippi and Louisiana

No, this is not an in-depth coverage of the native grapes that exist in Mississippi and Louisiana. It is more a plea for help in identifying grapes and marveling at the diversity. The photo below shows three grape clusters from three different vines at two different locations. The longer, loose cluster was found in Covington, LA whereas the shorter two are both from Poplarville, MS.

Native Grape Clusters from MS and LA.

Native Grape Clusters from MS and LA.

The larger cluster is loose, which is a good trait to have in order to reduce disease.  It also has red flesh and would help with deeper color for wine (teinturier).  The small cluster in the middle had the best flavor of the three.  In fact the other two had little flavor to speak of, but the middle cluster had a nice burst of fruitiness that made it stand out.  It is small and tight clustered though.  The bottom cluster has a decent size and is fairly loose.  The vine it came from was extremely productive with hundreds of these clusters all over it (well the vine is huge and goes across many trees).  I should have taken photos of the leaves, but did not.  I plan to save some of the seeds and might grow some out just to take a look.  If anyone out there has experience in IDing native grapes, please give me a suggestion to go on.  Below are the search results for Vitis species within MS and LA from plants.usda.gov

State Search for Genus = vitis
State and Province Distribution = U.S. States (Louisiana, Mississippi)

61 records returned

Click on an accepted name below to view its PLANTS Profile with all synonyms, distribution map, more information, and web links if available. Synonyms are indented beneath accepted counterparts.

Symbol Scientific Name Common Name
PAQU2 Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. Virginia creeper
AMHEM Ampelopsis hederacea (Ehrh.) DC. var. murorum Focke
AMLA7 Ampelopsis latifolia Tausch
AMQU3 Ampelopsis quinquefolia (L.) Michx.
HEQU3 Hedera quinquefolia L.
PAHI9 Parthenocissus hirsuta (Pursh) Graebn.
PAIN10 Parthenocissus inserta (Kern.) Fritsch
PAQUH Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. var. hirsuta (Pursh) Planch.
PAQUM Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. var. murorum (Focke) Rehder
PAQUS Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. var. saintpaulii (Koehne ex Graebn.) Rehder
PSQU Psedera quinquefolia (L.) Greene
PSQUM Psedera quinquefolia (L.) Greene var. murorum (Focke) Rehder
VIIN8 Vitis inserta Kern.
VIQU2 Vitis quinquefolia (L.) Lam.
VITIS Vitis L. grape
VIAE Vitis aestivalis Michx. summer grape
VIAEA2 Vitis aestivalis Michx. var. aestivalis summer grape
VILIG Vitis lincecumii Buckley var. glauca Munson
VILIL Vitis lincecumii Buckley var. lactea Small
VIRU8 Vitis rufotomentosa Small
VISI3 Vitis simpsonii Munson 1890, non 1887
VISL3 Vitis ×slavinii Rehder
VISM Vitis smalliana L.H. Bailey
VIAEL Vitis aestivalis Michx. var. lincecumii (Buckley) Munson long grape
VILI Vitis lincecumii Buckley
VICI2 Vitis cinerea (Engelm.) Engelm. ex Millard graybark grape
VICIB Vitis cinerea (Engelm.) Engelm. ex Millard var. baileyana (Munson) Comeaux graybark grape
VIBA Vitis baileyana Munson
VICIC2 Vitis cinerea (Engelm.) Engelm. ex Millard var. cinerea graybark grape
VIAEC Vitis aestivalis Michx. var. canescens Engelm.
VIAEC2 Vitis aestivalis Michx. var. cinerea Engelm.
VICIC Vitis cinerea (Engelm.) Engelm. ex Millard var. canescens (Engelm.) L.H. Bailey
VICIF Vitis cinerea (Engelm.) Engelm. ex Millard var. floridana Munson Florida grape
VIAU4 Vitis austrina Small
VISI4 Vitis simpsonii Munson 1887, non 1890
VISO4 Vitis sola L.H. Bailey
VILA8 Vitis labrusca L. fox grape
VILAS2 Vitis labrusca L. var. subedentata Fernald
VIMU2 Vitis mustangensis Buckley mustang grape
VICA12 Vitis candicans Engelm. ex A. Gray
VICAD2 Vitis candicans Engelm. ex A. Gray var. diversa L.H. Bailey
VIMUD Vitis mustangensis Buckley var. diversa (L.H. Bailey) Shinners
VIPA7 Vitis palmata Vahl catbird grape
VIRU6 Vitis rubra Michx.
VIRI Vitis riparia Michx. riverbank grape
VIRIP Vitis riparia Michx. var. praecox Engelm. ex L.H. Bailey
VIRIS Vitis riparia Michx. var. syrticola (Fernald & Wiegand) Fernald
VIVUR Vitis vulpina L. ssp. riparia (Michx.) R.T. Clausen
VIVUP Vitis vulpina L. var. praecox (Engelm. ex L.H. Bailey) L.H. Bailey
VIVUS Vitis vulpina L. var. syrticola Fernald & Wiegand
VIRO3 Vitis rotundifolia Michx. muscadine
MURO Muscadinia rotundifolia (Michx.) Small
VIROR Vitis rotundifolia Michx. var. rotundifolia muscadine
MUROR Muscadinia rotundifolia (Michx.) Small var. rotundifolia
VIRU2 Vitis rupestris Scheele sand grape
VIRUD Vitis rupestris Scheele var. dissecta Eggert ex L.H. Bailey
VIVU Vitis vulpina L. frost grape
VICO3 Vitis cordifolia Michx.
VICOF Vitis cordifolia Michx. var. foetida Engelm.
VICOS Vitis cordifolia Michx. var. sempervirens Munson
VIIL Vitis illex L.H. Bailey

2014 Muscadine Field Day a Success

The 2014 Muscadine Field Day was a great success. The cooperative event by Mississippi State University and the USDA-ARS is held every year in McNeill, MS. The weather was cool (relatively), so the crowd came out — about 110 in all. The educational portion of the program covered muscadine history, health properties, and pollination. Attendees were then free to ask questions and taste the ripe grapes. See the photos below for a quick peek at how it all went.

The crowd at the Muscadine Field Day listening on  to the program.

The crowd at the Muscadine Field Day listening on to the program.

Dr. Shaw addresses the topic of health-related properties of muscadines.

Dr. Shaw addresses the topic of health-related properties of muscadines.

Fruit tasting gets underway.

Fruit tasting gets underway.

Reggie Davis provides guidance on training new vines.

Reggie Davis provides guidance on training new vines.

Attack of the Walnut Caterpillar

The Walnut Caterpillar (aka Walnut Datana) (Datana integerrima) is a common pest of pecan trees.  The adults are moths with light-brown wings marked with dark-brown, wavy lines.  The hind wings are lighter brown and without lines.  The moths are about 1.5 to 2 inches long, but this is not usually the life stage that is noticed by growers.  It is the larvae that cause significant defoliation to plants.  Immature larvae are reddish-brown with narrow, cream colored lines that extend the length of the body.  Mature larvae are black, about 2 inches long and are covered with long, white or grayish hairs.

The Walnut Caterpillar overwinters as a pupa in the soil.  The moths emerge in the spring and deposit white eggs in masses on the underside of leaves.  These eggs result in the larvae that form a compact mass.  These caterpillars molt several times during development.  The larvae feed in groups, but unlike fall webworms (also common on pecans) they do not form webs.  They are capable of eating all the leaves on small trees or entire limbs of larger trees.

Although common on walnut and pecan trees, the realsurprise this year is that I have reports of them feeding on blueberries (see photos below).

Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by D. Van de Werken

Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by D. Van de Werken

Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by F. Fowler

Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by F. Fowler

Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by F. Fowler

Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by F. Fowler

Above are three photos of the Walnut Caterpillar larvae.  Below is the one photo of the resulting damage they can do.  Significant defoliation can lead to poor winter hardiness and possible reduced fruitfulness next year.

Defoliation of blueberry plant by Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by F. Fowler

Defoliation of blueberry plant by Walnut Caterpillar. Photo by F. Fowler

So, what to do about them? There are a few options:  cut out the branches with worms;  use products that contain Spinosad in them (like common Leafminer & Tent Caterpillar Spray); or  spray with Sevin (this also kills beneficial insects though).  Most of the time the best option is the one to just remove the section of the plant with the larvae and dispose of it.  Below are more links that cover this insect.

Kansas State: http://www.hfrr.ksu.edu/doc1741.ashx

Ohio State: http://entomology.osu.edu/bugdoc/Shetlar/factsheet/ornamental/FSwalnutcat.htm

LSU: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/D82E3661-1540-4EF3-9FE5-3598F5B42711/33404/pub1959walnutcaterpillar.pdf

Fruit Crops for Mississippi Farmers’ Markets

Yesterday I gave a presentation on “Best Fruit Crops for Mississippi Farmers’ Markets”.  It was part of the “Microfarming – Growing for Farmers’ Markets” workshop put on by Dr. Rick Snyder and others.  You can see more info on the workshop as well as links to other information related to Farmers’ Markets here: http://farmersmarkets.msstate.edu/conference/.

My presentation from the Farmers' Market Workshop

My presentation from the Farmers’ Market Workshop

The full presentation can be accessed here as a PDF file: Fruit Crops for MS Farmers Markets

 

History and Horticultural Books

One of the great things I love about horticulture is that history is so important.  When I was growing up, going through school I thought about what I wanted to do when I got older.  I never once thought I would be in horticulture.  My main ideas were private detective, archaeologist, park ranger, professional baseball player, novelist, movie director, and historian (not necessarily in that order).  Horticulture allows me the freedom to be many of these things.  As a researcher and Extension specialist, I am part private detective, trying to piece together clues to determine why things happen.  Sometimes I am an archaeologist, looking into the past through records and old samples.  I, too am part park ranger.  Just yesterday I gave a tour of my small vineyard, doling out wisdom and observations on each vine.  Over the years I have written many, many articles, book chapters, peer-reviewed papers that (almost) satisfies that novelist need.  I’ve also filmed (and been filmed) performing different aspects of my job.  And, as I will show below, I am also a historian.  Unfortunately, my dream of playing professional baseball never came true (is it too late at 43?).

I really enjoy the history in horticulture.  To satisfy this I collect books primarily related to pomology, but also have others that pertain to viticulture and general horticulture.  Below are some of in my collection:

The Strawberry by George Darrow

The Strawberry by George Darrow

I was able to pick this FIRST EDITION with dusk jacket up in a used book store in the French Quarter last weekend.  I was dumbfounded to be able to find it in this condition.  The Strawberry was published in 1966.

USDA Yearbook of Agriculture 1937

USDA Yearbook of Agriculture 1937

The USDA Yearbook of Agriculture 1937 is a must have for any breeder.  It is a classic.  I found this one at a used bookstore on Dickson St. in Fayetteville, AR.

Advances in Fruit Breeding

Advances in Fruit Breeding

Advances in Fruit Breeding was edited by Jules Janick and James N. Moore.  It was first published in 1975.  I found this one at the University of Arkansas Student Bookstore — probably the last copy they had.

Methods in Fruit Breeding

Methods in Fruit Breeding

Methods in Fruit Breeding was edited by James N. Moore and Jules Janick.  It was published in 1983.  I found this book in New Orleans in the French Quarter while attending the 2006 American Society for Horticultural Science annual conference in 2006.

The Cherries of New York

The Cherries of New York

The Cherries of New York is part of a series of publications from the NY Agriculture Experiment Station.  These volumes were published in the early 20th Century.  Unfortunately I don’t have them all, but do have a couple more.  I bought this one and The Grapes of New York from a Habitat for Humanity Resale store in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Grapes of New York

The Grapes of New York

The Grapes of New York is a classic and it is coming in very handy as I am currently writing a book chapter concerning grapes in the southern U.S.

The Pears of New York

The Pears of New York

This copy of The Pears of New York was given to me by Dr. Gerald Klingaman, former faculty member at the University of Arkansas and current Director of Operations for the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

I have others in my collection, but these were handy in my office.  Anyone out there have some prizes in their own collections?

Soft Wax Scale on Blueberry

Today it was brought to my attention that one of the potted blueberry plants here at the station had scale on it.  A couple months ago, I blogged about another type of scale on grapes.  The scale I saw today was different.  Both were soft-bodied scale, but the type on the blueberry is a soft wax scale (Ceroplastes spp.).  It may even be Indian Wax Scale (Ceroplastes ceriferus).  These types of scale infest a lot of different plant species in the eastern U.S.  Since these are here in the summer they are feeding on the blueberry canes and maturing (thus becoming more tolerant of pesticides) so that they can overwinter.

Soft Bodied Scale on small blueberry plant

Soft Bodied Scale on small blueberry plant

If you have these critters on your plants and would like to know what to do about it, this link has some good info on that: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/shrubs/note13/note13.html

Below is a photo I took a couple years ago of a plant in the field.  The infestation is larger.

Soft Bodied Scale on a blueberry plant in the field

Soft Bodied Scale on a blueberry plant in the field

These insects will overwinter as adults and start their lifecycle again in the following spring.  Left untreated they can cause significant damage or even stress the plant to the point of low productivity or even lead to plant death.

Magnesium Deficiency in the Vineyard

Nutrient deficiencies can adversely affect grapevines, not only the growth of the vine itself, but also the fruit.  Here in Poplarville, the soil pH is low.  To give you an idea, in general this area is good for growing blueberries.  Blueberries thrive in soil pH of 4.2-5.2, which is too low for most grapevines.  Often in other regions I have seen Iron (Fe) deficiency but here, because of the low soil pH, I am seeing Magnesium (Mg) deficiency show up.  The photo below shows what late season leaf symptoms look like.  I don’t remember which vine this came from — some cultivars appear to tolerate the soil pH better than others.

Mg deficiency caused by low soil pH

Mg deficiency caused by low soil pH

So, what to do about it?  Raise the soil pH with lime is the first thing.  If that doesn’t alleviate the problem, then foliar or soil applied sprays may be necessary.  My colleague at Cornell University, Hans Walter-Peterson, gives an excellent primer on Mg deficiency and offers suggestions for correcting it.  You can find that here: http://www.growingproduce.com/uncategorized/managing-magnesium-in-grapes/.  The eXtension grape community of practice has a good article on other potential disorders too — that article can be accessed here: https://www.extension.org/pages/31599/grapevine-problems:-leaf-spots-not-caused-by-insects-or-disease#.U-jgJfldV8E

You may be inclined to think, “It is after harvest, so I shouldn’t worry about it”.  Nutrient deficiencies can lead to poor winter hardiness, overall vine stress, and other issues.  It is best to correct the problem rather than to let it negatively affect the vine.

See the Heat on Grape Bunches with IR Thermography

Recently I purchased a VT02 Visual IR Thermometer for use on grapes and grapevines.  This instrument has been used in various studies, mainly those addressing irrigation scheduling, stomatal conductance, and other water-related issues.  I have used a similar instrument previously in Oklahoma and blogged about it here: okgrapes.wordpress.com/?s=infrared.

Yesterday, I went to the vineyard and looked at some of the few bunches left on vines that bird had not carried off or destroyed.  I took IR readings on two different cultivars, ‘Lake Emerald’ and ‘Rubaiyat’.  ‘Lake Emerald’ is a white-skinned grape.  It was released by the University of Florida in 1954 and resulted from a cross of ‘Pixiola’ and ‘Golden Muscat’.  This is the first year it has produced fruit (2nd leaf) and the clusters have not fully ripened yet, but is getting close.  You can read more about ‘Lake Emerald’ here: http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/grapes/cultivarbulletins/Lake%20Emerald%20circularS-68%201954.pdf.   ‘Rubaiyat’  is a cross of ‘Bailey’ and Seibel 5437.  It has red skin and red flesh.  It was released by Oklahoma State University in the 1970s.   You can read more about ‘Rubaiyat’ here: http://www.grapes.okstate.edu/PDFs/2006/Rubaiyat.pdf

Below are the images I took of the clusters during mid-day.  Ambient air temperature was around 35 C.  As you can see, cluster temperature was greater than air temperature.

IR Image of Lake Emerald Cluster

IR Image of Lake Emerald Cluster

IR Image of Rubaiyat Cluster

IR Image of Rubaiyat Cluster

The temperature difference is nominal, just 0.7 C higher for Rubaiyat (the red grape).  Rubaiyat was also ripe, or past ripe.  The “cooler” tones around the bunch are leaves and air (or other objects).  I still need to work with the instrument to optimize its use.  While outside I also looked at leaves that had problems (disease, nutrient deficiency, etc.) vs. normal, healthy leaves.  The problem leaves invariably had slightly higher temperatures.  I attribute this to reduced transpiration from damage to the leaves.  I also tested some blueberry plants.  I saw some differences in canopy temperature among cultivars, but not sure what to attribute it to — could be water stress, leaf age, or some other factor.

 

Some Notes on Bunch Grapes in South Mississippi

I have a vineyard in Poplarville, MS with several different varieties of bunch grapes.  Some will make it, some won’t, but it is interesting to look nonetheless.  Below are some notes I made today on their growth and development.  These are all in their second leaf and first fruiting year.

Victoria Red — some Pierce’s Disease symptoms (PD), not extremely productive, clusters variable in size and shape, some vines no crop while others better, bird depredation and bees a problem, fruit is crisp and sweet with good flavor (close to neutral), some seeds, vines have good vigor, non-slipskin

Cimarron — very few clusters, small cluster size, slipskin with “Welchy” flavor, some PD symptoms, moderate vine vigor

Sunset — no crop, possible PD symptoms, low vigor

Cynthiana — moderate vigor, no fruit

Rubaiyat — possible PD symptoms, vine vigor varies among vines, some vines no fruit and some lots, slipskin, red flesh, flavor mild to neutral, good sized clusters when present, some vines appear stressed, some uneven ripening, some nutritional deficiency symptoms, bird and bee depredation

Lake Emerald — good fruit set, not ripening yet, evidence of nutritional deficiency, clusters loose, vine vigor good to moderate

Daytona — no fruit, vine vigor low to moderate

Champanel — few clusters, slipskin, mild fruit flavor, cluster size medium to large, “slimy” pulp, some nutritional deficiency symptoms, possible PD symptoms, vine vigor moderate, clusters loose

V12-375(?) — little fruit, vigorous growth, not ripening yet, clean foliage except a couple older leaves with possible PD or nutrient deficiency symptoms

Conquistador — no fruit, vine vigorous, shows nutrient deficiency, some leaves drying out and dying

Himrod — poor growth, no fruit

FAMU 99 — moderate vine vigor, no fruit

MidSouth — low to moderate vine vigor, little fruit, small clusters, intriguing “raspberry” flavor, slipskin

The varieties below have been harvested as of July 24.  Although they were not at optimal soluble solid levels, bird depredation dictated an early harvest so that my study would not be ruined.

Villard blanc — long, loose clusters, brix around 16, some leave damage from Pristine, nonslipskin, obvious “wine”-like grape flavor, vines moderate vigor

Blanc du bois — vines vigorous, large to medium cluster size, brix around 17-18, anthracnose a problem, slipskin

Miss blanc — less vigorous than VB and BdB, less fruit too, brix around 15

If you have questions or comments on these I would love to hear them.