‘Eudora’, a purple-fruited muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) intended for the fresh market, has been approved for joint release as a public domain cultivar by the University of Florida Experiment Station and the USDA-ARS (Fig. 1). ‘Eudora’ ripens in midseason (late August in southern Mississippi), is high-yielding, and is resistant to Pierce's disease and many fruit rots. The most outstanding features of ‘Eudora’ that make it desirable for the fresh market are its excellent taste and texture, high sugar content, and relatively large berries (10 g) that are borne on tight clusters. Eudora berries also have the potential to be processed into juice and jelly. However, the potential of ‘Eudora’ for juice and wine-making is doubtful because the pedicels strongly adhere to berries. Although overall ripening among clusters is uneven, ripening within clusters is generally uniform making it most suitable for manual harvesting. Cluster harvesting of muscadine grapes for the fresh market has advantages over individually harvesting berries. First, cluster harvested berries may have a greater shelf life because rolling and bruising during harvest, processing, and packaging is less than that of individually harvested berries. Second, cluster-harvested grapes have no exposed scars or tears that may result from pedicel detachment and lead to deterioration and fungal infection. Third, clusters of grapes are less expensive to clean, sort, and pack than are individual berries (Morris and Blevins, 2001). ‘Eudora’ is not recommended for individually harvested berries unless fruit have fully ripened and percentage of dry picking scars increases. Eudora is amenable to organic and low-input sustainable systems; plants at the Mississippi State University and forestry Experiment Station (MAFES) in McNeill, MS, for instance, show resistance to insects and diseases and have required no applications of insecticides or fungicides. ‘Eudora’ is suitable for use in both homeowner and commercial settings where self-fertile pollenizer cultivars are interplanted and where cluster harvesting is practiced.
Mortensen, J.A., Harris, J., Hopkins, D.L. & Anderson, P.C. 1994 ‘Southern Home’: An interspecific hybrid grape with ornamental value HortScience 29 1371 1372
Stringer, S.J., Marshall, D.A., Sampson, B.J. & Spiers, J.M. 2008 Performance of muscadine grape cultivars in southern Mississippi HortTechnology 18 726 733