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Vitis candicans Engelm.

Mustang Grape

Modern name

Vitis candicans Engelm. ex A.Gray

A vigorous deciduous climber, shoots covered with a dense white wool, a thick disk interrupting the pith at the joints. Leaves 2 to 412 in. wide, broadly heart-shaped to kidney-shaped, sometimes entire or with only a wavy outline, sometimes obscurely three-lobed; on young plants or strong sucker shoots the leaves are sometimes deeply three-, five-, or seven-lobed, but even then scarcely or very shallowly toothed. On first expanding the upper surface is woolly, but the wool soon falls away, leaving it a dull, dark green, whilst the under-surface remains covered with a thick white felt. The stalk is one-fourth to half as long as the blade, and white-woolly. Berries globose, about 23 in. wide, purplish, and unpleasantly flavoured.

Native of the USA from Oklahoma and Arkansas to Texas, often found on limestone. It is one of the most distinct of American grape-vines in the broad, almost entire leaves and vivid white wool beneath, suggesting a white poplar leaf. It was quite hardy when grown at Kew. Allied to it, and perhaps a hybrid from it is:

V. doaniana Munson – It is distinct from V. candicans in the always three-lobed and coarsely toothed leaf, the upper surface of which is bluish green strewn with patches of white wool. The young shoots and leaves are quite white all over at first, and much of the wool persists beneath. It was originally found wild in Texas, but is commonest in one area of Oklahoma. It was introduced to Kew in 1892 and was quite hardy there.



Other species in the genus