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Botanical Name of Grapes
The common grape vine is a species of flowering plant. Its scientific name is Vitis. At present there are about 10000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes, although it should be noted that only a few are used for consumption and wine production. Grapes are native to Mediterranean region, Central Europe and Southwest Asia. The wild grapes have the scientific name Vitis vinifera sylvestris and domesticated grapes have the name ‘Vitis vinifera vinifera.’ While the domesticated vines have hermaphrodite flowers, the wild Variation is dioecious (male and female are grown on different plants). Thus, pollination is a must for fruit development in wild grape vines.
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Scientific Classification of Grapes
Botanical Name− Vitis vinifera
Description and Types
Grape is a very tasty and refreshing fruit. It is very popular all around the world and is widely used. The grape vines are woody, stem-tendril climbing plants. These vines grow upward with vigorous overhanging growth. Without pruning, these vines can grow up to 17 meters, sometimes even more. Small greenish flowers develop in clusters before the fruit.
The grape fruit is a type of berry and can be either black or red or green or amber. Grapes grow in clusters of 6–300. You can find a white powdery coating on the grape fruits in many of its varieties.
There are many different varieties of grape but the most popular among these are as follows −
This variety is mainly found in Europe as well as some parts of Asia. The grapes of this variety can be different sizes. These grapes have high sugar content. It is considered an ideal type for transporting to other places and raising.
Some of the variations of vinifera species are as follows −
This variety is native to Asian continent. It is resistant to frost. It cannot survive in drought. The grapes are black or purple in colour. The taste can range from very acidic to sweet.
This variety is mainly found in North America. It is table and grape juice grapevine. Sometimes, it is also used for wine production. Most of the grapes of this variety are red in colour.
These grapes are found in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. These grapes are of green colour and have a thick outer layer. The grapes of this variety are used for juices, wine, pies and jelly.
It is native to south eastern United States from Delaware to the Mexican Gulf. These grapes are used for making wine and jam. These grapes include black, bronze, and red varieties. This species includes many common and patented grapes.
Agro-Climatic Conditions for Grape Plantation
Grape is a semi-arid subtropical crop. For best development and yield, the grapes require long, dry, and warm to summer followed by cool winters. Very harsh winters are unsuitable for grapes and the vines. The spring front kills the new shoots and clusters of the vines. Humid weather is also not suited for grapes as it negatively affects the sweetness and causes the cracking of fruit. It also leads to fungal diseases in the fruit.
The grape vines can grow in any type of soil as long as it is well drained. They can adapt to different types of soils ranging from blow sand to clay loams, from high calcareous to non-calcareous soils, and from high fertility to low fertility soil. The ideal one is light soil tough. Excessive salinity also negatively affects the vines and the yield.
Cultivation, Care and Harvesting
There are many ways of grape propagation such as seed, layering, hard-wood cuttings, soft-wood cutting, grafting, and budding. Among these, hard wood cutting is the most widely used.
Usually, the grapevines are planted in pits.
The size of the pit varies depending upon grape species and vine spacing.
The depth of the pit varies in accordance to the soil. It can range from 60–90 cm.
The spacing among the vines depends on the species. Grape vines require good sunlight to grow and develop. Grape vines require some support for upward growth. The support is required to be in place at planting. Support is helpful in reducing the risk of diseases.
Many grape species are self-fertile and do not require much fertilization, especially during the first year. Light fertilization is performed during the second year. However, in case of less-fertile soil some fertilization may be required during the first year also. Common pests which affect the grape yield are aphids and Japanese beetles, etc. The grape crops are also affected by black rot and powdery mildew diseases.
Pruning plays a very important role in grape yield. The grape vines produce fruit on shoots which grow off of one-year-old canes. The grape yield decreases when there are many old canes. Pruning is performed in late winter. Also, the vines should not be pruned completely each year, as that will result in lots of new growth but with less yield.
Once the grapes become ripe, they are ready to be harvested.
The ripe grapes are rich in colour, filled with juice, plump, easily crushed and non-withered. The grape bunch should be tightly attached to the stems.
Usually, the harvesting period begins 30–70 days after the fruit sets. The grapes are usually harvested with hands using knives or shears which can either be manual or electric. Whole bunches are cut and collected in baskets.
Nowadays many wine varieties of grapes are mechanically harvested. These machines use rubber or other materials for shaking the vines so that the grapes fall on the conveyor belt.
The grapes are separated from foreign materials and are collected in special deposits. They are then immediately transferred to the winery. The table varieties of grapes can only be harvested by hand.
Nutrition and Uses
Grapes can be consumed in many ways.
They can either be eaten fresh or can be dried to produce raisins, sultanas and currants.
Grapes juices are fermented for making wines and vinegar.
A large quantity of grapes is used in wine production.
Grapes are used in many recipes around the world. In many cultures, the grape leaves are used in cooking.
The nutritional content of 100 gram of grapes is given in the table below −
|Dietary Fibre||0.9 g|
|Vitamin C||3.2 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.19 mg|
Table: Nutritional content of Grapes
Grapes are sensitive fruits and can only be stored in a cellar for about six weeks. Grapes are usually stored in cardboard boxes or crates. Also, the grapes should be kept separate from other fruits as they absorb the odours of other fruits and vegetables.
Q1. What is the correct botanical name of grapes?
a) Prunus avium
d) Passiflora edulis
Q2. Grapes are part of which of the following botanical division?
Q3. Flame Seedless is a variety of which of the following species of grapes?
Q4. What is the amount of carbohydrates present in 100 grams of grapes?
a) 10.6 g
b) 18.1 g
c) 27.3 g
d) 32.4 g
Q5. The harvesting period for grapes starts approximately after how many days of cultivation?
a) 10 – 30
b) 30 – 70
c) 70 – 110
d) 110 – 140
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