Vitis rotundifolia

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Vitis rotundifolia
Vitis rotundifolia.jpg
Photo by Kevin Robertson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Rhamnales
Family: Vitaceae
Genus: Vitis
Species: V. rotundifolia
Binomial name
Vitis rotundifolia
Viti rotu dist.jpg
Natural range of Vitis rotundifolia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Muscadine

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Muscadinia munsoniana (Simpson ex Munson) Small; Muscadinia rotundifolia (Michaux) Small.[1]

Variations: Vitis rotundifolia var. munsoniana Simpson ex Munson.[2]


"High-climbing or trailing vines; pith brown, continuous or discontinuous through the nodes. Leaves simple, acute or acuminate, serrate, base cordate, petiolate. Inflorescences paniculate. Calyx flat, round, usually without lobes; petals 5, 0.5-2.5 mm long, cohering at the summit, separating at the base, falling at anthesis; disk of 5 connate or separate glands, 0.2-0.4 mm long; stigmas small, style conical, 0.2-0.5 mm long. Berry dark purple, globose; seeds 1-4 usually red or brown, pyriform, 4-7 mm long."[3]

"High-climbing vine with adhering bark, conspicuous tendrils, and pith continuous through node; young branches angled, puberulent. Leaves suborbicular or widely ovate, to 8 cm long or wide, glabrate or glabrous. Mature inflorescences to 5 cm long, few-fruited; berries 1-2 cm in diam.; seeds ca. 6 mm long."[3]




V. rotundifolia has been found in sand pine-oak scrub sand ridges, titi swamps, floodplain woodlands, live oak hammocks, slash pine flatwoods, fresh water marshes, wet pine flatwoods, swampy woodlands, river banks, canal banks, and pine-oak woodlands.[4] It is also found in disturbed areas like roadsides.[4] V. rotundifolia has shown mixed responses to agricultural-based soil disturbance in South Carolina coastal plain communities. In some areas, it has shown resistance to regrowth in reestablished pinelands that were disturbed by agriculture, making it an indicator species for remnant woodlands.[5] However, in other areas of South Carolina, this plant has shown regrowth in reestablished longleaf pinelands that were disturbed by agriculture, making it a post-agricultural woodland indicator species.[6] This species increased its presence in response to soil disturbance by heavy silvilculture like repeat chopping in North Carolina longleaf pine sites.[7] It had mixed changes in biomass, mostly decrease in biomass, in response to heavy silvilculture in north Florida flatwoods.[8] V. rotundifolia decreased in foliar cover in response to soil disturbance by clearcutting, chopping, and roller chopping in north Florida flatwoods forests.[9][10] The plant was unaffected by improvement logging in Mississippi.[11]

Associated species: Pinus elliottii var. densa, P. clausa, Quercus myrtifolia, Bumelia tenax, Xymenia americana, Persea palustris, Lyonia ferruginea, Palafoxia feayi, Sabal etonia, Quercus geminata, Q. inopina, Carya floridana, Persea humilis, Opuntia humifusa, Smilax auriculata, Vitis munsoniana Prunus geniculata, and Polygonella fimbriata.[4]

Vitis rotundifolia is frequent and abundant in the Calcareous Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[12]


V. rotundifolia has been observed flowering from March to May and in July with peak inflorescence in May.[13]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by consumption by vertebrates.[14]

Fire ecology

Populations of Vitis rotundifolia have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[15][16]


Vitis rotundifolia has been observed at the Archbold Biological Station with bees from the Apidae family such as Apis mellifera and Bombus impatiens, sweat bees from the Halictidae family such as Agapostemon splendens, Augochloropsis anonyma, A. sumptuosa, and Lasioglossum placidensis, and leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae such as Megachile brevis pseudobrevis, M. mendica, and M. petulans.[17] Additionally, this species has been observed with aphids such as Aphis sp. (family Aphididae), leafhoppers such as Empoasca fabae, Graminella nigrifrons, Scaphytopius sp., and Sorhoanus orientalis, leaf-footed bugs from the Coreidae family such as Euthochtha galeator and Leptoglossus oppositus, planthoppers from the family Delphacidae such as Delphacodes puella and Sogatella kolophon, true bugs such as Myodocha serripes (family Lygaeidae), treehoppers from the Membracidae family such as Atymna querci, Entylia carinata, Micrutalis calva and Telamona monticola, stink bugs such as Banasa dimiata (family Pentatomidae), and assasin bugs such as Apiomerus crassipes (family Reduviidae).[18]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Vitis rotundifolia produces an edible drupe that can be eaten raw or made into goods such as jelly or wine.[19]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 695. Print.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Florida State University Herbarium Database. URL: Last accessed: June 2021. Collectors: Sydney T. Bacchus, Tom Barnes, Delzie Demaree, D. L. Fichtner, Robert K. Godfrey, Beverly Judd, Walter S. Judd, and Deborah R. Shelley. States and counties: Florida: Franklin, Indian River, Highlands, Leon, Liberty, Seminole, and Wakulla.
  5. Brudvig, L.A., E Grman, C.W. Habeck, and J.A. Ledvina. (2013). Strong legacy of agricultural land use on soils and understory plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 944-955.
  6. Brudvig, L.A., J.L. Orrock, E.I. Damschen, C.D. Collins, P.G. Hahn, W.B. Mattingly, J.W. Veldman, and J.L. Walker. (2014). Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86604.
  7. Cohen, S., R. Braham, and F. Sanchez. (2004). Seed Bank Viability in Disturbed Longleaf Pine Sites. Restoration Ecology 12(4):503-515.
  8. Conde, L.F., B.F. Swindel, and J.E. Smith. (1986). Five Years of Vegetation Changes Following Conversion of Pine Flatwoods to Pinus elliottii Plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 15(4):295-300.
  9. Moore, W.H., B.F. Swindel, and W.S. Terry. (1982). Vegetative Response to Clearcutting and Chopping in a North Florida Flatwoods Forest. Journal of Range Management 35(2):214-218.
  10. Lewis, C.E., G.W. Tanner, and W.S. Terry. (1988). Plant responses to pine management and deferred-rotation grazing in north Florida. Journal of Range Management 41(6):460-465.
  11. McComb, W.C. and R.E. Noble. (1982). Response of Understory Vegetation to Improvement Cutting and Physiographic Site in Two Mid-South Forest Stands. Southern Appalachian Botanical Society 47(1):60-77.
  12. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  13. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 15 DEC 2016
  14. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  15. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  16. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  17. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  18. [1]
  19. Hardin, J.W., Arena, J.M. 1969. Human Poisoning from Native and Cultivated Plants. Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina.