What kind of grapes did I find?

Asked September 20, 2017, 9:13 PM EDT

I have been on my property for 12 years and just yesterday stumbled upon a grape vine. I have no idea what kind of grape it is. Attached are pictures. The skin tastes sweet, the pulp is tart. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any info.

Sullivan County New York

3 Responses

You did not mention if this vine is growing in a spot that may once have been cultivated, but if it is growing in the wild it is probably the native grape Vitis lambrusco. It is known commonly as the fox grape or plum grape and is frequently found climbing high into trees.

The leaves should be serrated, with hairy undersides and somewhat heart-shaped. There should be tendrils located along the stem opposite each leaf. The grapes have slip skins, that is to say the skins slide off easily (as they appear to have done in your photo). The flavor is described as "foxy" (thus the common name), musky or sweetly earthy and they are popular with birds and wild animals.

The concord grape, Vitis lambrusco 'Concord' is a cultivar of this species. Vitis lambrusco 'Niagara' is a white fruited descendant of 'Concord' that is the primary white table grape produced in the US today.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am unsure if this spot has ever been cultivated. It's on a very small strip of vegetation, between our driveway and a brook that stems from a lake on State land. There used to be a raspberry bush but i havent seen any fruit drom that recently. This property was a rock quarry long before we got here so I'm going to venture a guess that it never has been used to grow anything, unless it was wild.
It is growing alongside trees and bushes. I believe one tree was identified as a poison cherry (see the attached picture). I will have to look closer at the leaves of the vine.
So is this grape a white grape (since the pulp is white) or a red (because of the skin)? And the big question-are they safe to eat, can and/or juice?
Thanks again for getting back to me.

Vitis lambrusco is a red grape. For information on the safety of using a significant quantity of these grapes as food, you should contact your Sullivan County Cooperative Extension.

If you would like to identify the plant in the photo, would you please send us an additional photo of the overall shape of the tree as well an entire leaf?