Muscadine Grapes

muscadine grape vines
muscadine grapes

Muscadine grapes on the vine. Credits: Paula Siwek/iStock/Thinkstock

Did you know that the first grapes grown in North America were muscadine grapes? Native to the southeastern United States, muscadines can still be found growing wild in Florida and are also grown commercially.1

Muscadine grapes are distinct from table grapes in that they have thicker skins, don’t grow in bunches, and have a “spicy-sweet” flavor. Muscadines are often processed into jams, jellies, and wine, though they can also be enjoyed fresh. 2

And they’re good for you! Research has shown that like other wine grapes, muscadines contain resveratrol, which may help lower cholesterol and reduce cancer risk.3  Muscadine seed oil contains a special form of Vitamin E that may “help mitigate the formation of new fat cells.”4

In addition to their health benefits, muscadines are a highly sustainable crop because they are relatively pest and disease free.1

Learn more about muscadine grape varieties and cultivation in this UF/IFAS video.


  1. Peter C. Andersen, Timothy E. Crocker and Jacque Breman, The Muscadine Grape, HS763, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2013, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs100
  2. “Muscadine Grapes,” UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions, 2013, http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/edibles/fruits/muscadines.html
  3. Doris Stanley, “America’s First Grape: The Muscadine,” USDA Agricultural Research Service, 1997, http://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/1997/nov/musc
  4. Brad Buck, “UF/IFAS study: Muscadine grape seed oil may help reduce obesity,” UF/IFAS News, 2015, https://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2015/06/ufifas-study-muscadine-grape-seed-oil-may-help-reduce-obesity/

Featured photo credits: Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS

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sgrenrock

sgrenrock

Web Writer at IFAS Communications

Sam is originally from California and has her BA in linguistics and MFA in poetry. She loves art, animals, culture, and learning about science.

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