Average berry quality in Tifton, Ga. trials
|Cultivar||Berry weight (g)||Berry diameter (mm)||Soluble solids (%)|
|Cultivar||Vine vigor||Leaf disease||Berry rot||% Full crop||Harvest period||Ripening||% Dry scar|
'Alachua' was introduced by J.A. Mortensen and J.W. Harris of the Central Florida Research and Education Center in 1990. It was selected from the cross 'Fry' x 'Southland' as a black muscadine with a dry scar and uniform ripening, facilitating the possibility of mechanical harvesting.
'Alachua' was a solid but unexciting cultivar in our trials. It has good disease resistance and a strong muscadine flavor, likely inherited from the 'Southland' parent. However, it also got its relatively tough skin and medium size from 'Southland'. Flavor is good, but only if you wait for it to be fully ripe, which will push it back into the late season. Notice in the picture above the uneven ripening. This is what the vine looks like in midseason. If you wait two weeks the ripening is much more consistent and the berries sweeter.
'Alachua' is likely not large enough to sell well as a fresh fruit cultivar. I like to see a berry weight of at least 10g and a diameter of 25 mm (1 inch) for the fresh market. Its disease resistance and good flavor make it an okay home vine for the late season. Clark (2001) noted a lack of hardiness in 'Alachua' in Clarksville, Arkansas, so avoid planting 'Alachua' in the northern muscadine regions.