Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Muscadinia, a section of the botanical genus vitis, although some botanists have suggested that it should be considered a separate genus rather than a section of Vitis. Muscadinia includes the two species, V. rotundifolia (including V. rotundifolia var. munsonia) and V. popenoei, according to recent phylogenies. Vitis contains the true grapevine, as outlined in botanical classification. Muscadinia and Vitis differ in chromosome number and morphology.

Members of the Muscadiniae occur only in the south-eastern united states, mexico, and (according to the Institute magarach) in ukraine, but seem related to Vitis ludwigii found as fossil seeds in Tertiary sediments of northern Europe. There is speculation that Muscadinia can be regarded as transitional between the temperate genus Vitis and Ampelocissus, which is adapted to tropical climates. Species of the three genera have similar characteristics.