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Muscadine Grape Breeding Program: Cultivars

Alachua

(From left) Supreme and Alachua cultivars

Cultivar Information

Flower type = Self-fertile
Berry color = Black
Year introduced = 1990
Variety protection = Unpatented

Average berry quality in Tifton, Ga. trials

Cultivar Berry weight (g) Berry diameter (mm) Soluble solids (%)
Alachua 7.4 22 15.5
Fry 12.7 27 15.3
Supreme 17.7 31 13.9

Cultivar attributes in Tifton, Ga. trials
Cultivar Vine vigor Leaf disease Berry rot % Full crop Harvest period Ripening % Dry scar
Alachua medium/high slight high 100% midseason even 50%
Fry medium slight slight 70% midseason even 30%
Supreme medium slight none 90% midseason uneven 60%

History

'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.

Comments

Alachua grapes on vine'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.

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