Vitis labrusca ‘Concord’

Lindsay wrote today’s entry:

Thank you to long-time BPotD commenter Phillip Lacock for submitting this picture of abundance (original photo | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool)!

As you might guess, the Concord grape hails from Concord, Massachusetts, where it was developed by Ephraim Wales Bull. Bull started experimenting in the 1830s for a variety that would thrive in the cold New England climate, and tasted ‘Concord’ for the first time in 1849. Through 1850 to 1853, the plant was propagated to make it available commercially on a small-scale. By 1854, the fruits of Bull’s labour were for sale, and Bull made $3200 by selling vines for $5 each in the first year. Little money was made in succeeding years, though, as competing commercial nurseries propagated the vines in quantity and paid no royalties to Bull.

Concord grapes are often used as table grapes by home-growers. Commercially, products like Smucker’s Jam and Welch’s Grape Juice use this cultivar. In fact, Thomas Bramwell Welch discovered the pasteurization process using Concord grapes.

Bull’s epitaph in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts reads “The Originator of the Concord Grape, He Sowed; Others Reaped”. For an extensive article about Vitis labrusca ‘Concord’, read the Edmund Schofield article published in Arnoldia, entitled “He Sowed; Others Reaped”: Ephraim Wales Bull and the Origins of the ‘Concord’ Grape (PDF).

As an aside, if you have horticultural or gardening questions about grapes, UBC Botanical Garden has a forum to discuss them: Grapes and Grape Vines.

Biology resource link (added by Daniel): I want to point out a thread on the forums for those of you who are fans of interesting organisms. In a discussion about identification of a slime mold, one of the forum members, forestlover, posted an extensive set of links about slime molds that are well-worth investigating.

Vitis labrusca 'Concord'

11 responses to “Vitis labrusca ‘Concord’”

  1. Sue in Bremerton

    This entry swooped in by surpise, and off I went to my childhood. Grape season was one of the best times of the year. Mother would buy those long, rounded baskets full of grapes, and the house would fill with the aroma of them being made into jam and jelly. She always saved enough raw ones for dessert. Wow.
    These are just beautiful. Thank you so much, for a new favorite entry.

  2. Dori

    Hmm. Looks like my plum tree.

  3. Knox

    How did the one grape taste that was picked from the middle of the bunch? Delicious, I guess.

  4. Sue

    Boy is my mouth watering! 😀
    Thanks for the wonderful photos & enlightening write-ups every day.

  5. phillip

    they told me i couldn’t grow grapes in new mexico….
    the sweetness is extreme….
    my write up would be….
    concord grapes, the jewels of my youth…
    i was the kid you didn’t want to live around if you had a fruit tree.
    i knew every tree…every garden…every wonderful delight….to be eaten by this little thief….little magic morsels sitting in a tree…they called to me…lol…
    concords were always in october….that little italian lady would always catch me and yell at me…i’d come back later…..

  6. Cambree

    I love Concord grape, or any of the dark variety. Now I just have Concord grape juice instead.
    Lovely photo!
    Also liked reading Phillip’s comment too. Very funny story. 🙂

  7. Sally

    Concord is THE grape from which we know “grape”… forget tasteless Thompson, or generic “red table” grapes– this is it! As many say above, the taste of childhood. I introduced my husband to these long after we were married; he’d never known where real grape flavor came from! We rarely see these in stores out here; sigh.
    Thanks for a fun look back!

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    big baskets of grapes i have memories
    baskets of grapes big and small and
    if lucky the red ones andhard to find
    the golden muscat cannon hall if still
    grown in this age
    augusta withers drew a wonderful
    bontanical drawing of the cannon hall
    in the days when she could not use
    her name
    thank you daniel

  9. Nancy

    I can almost smell them by looking at the photo. Raised our family in western New York state and at this time of year the air was always filled with the heady aroma of these beauties.
    One time I put a big basket out on the porch table overnight(no room in the fridge) and when I came down in the morning…what a mess! The racoons had made a raid, eaten them all, except for the skins, and left their purple footprints everywhere.
    Thanks for the memory.

  10. De Kemist

    The wonderful photo arouses memory.Thanks for the picture

  11. fernando vera

    Linda foto que motiva los comentarios sobre recuerdos de infancia. Sera esta uva la que tenemos en Peru y la llamamos “uva borgoña”, la nuestra tiene como caracteristica el desprendimiento facil de la piel ya que hay una goma o muscilago entre piel y pulpa.
    Saludos desde Lima Peru

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