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Woody > Vitis > Vitis vinifera > Vitis vinifera

Vitis vinifera

Common Grape

Origin:  This plant is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia. It is a very ancient plant so it’s hard to pinpoint its exact origins, but it seems humans first used Vitis vinifera at least 6000 years ago.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


The Common Grape is an ancient vine that has been grown by humans for thousands of years. It is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia. It’s a hardy fast-growing vine that has dark green leaves that turn yellow in autumn. In the spring bud break occurs and inflorescence stocks are formed, the blooms are small and yellow. After pollination has occurred purple to blackish grapes are formed. It is grafted as the understock for grape wine cultivars in the viticulture industry since this particular species is more resistant to pests.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


USDA Hardiness Zone
6 - 9
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
16 - 20 m as a vine when supported
16 - 20 m as a vine
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
This is a deciduous vine that has dark green leaves that turn yellow in autumn. It produces clusters of small yellow flowers that later produce small dark purple to black coloured fruit.
Today, this plant is most commonly used in wine production in vineyards across the world. There are a few other uses however; almost all parts of the plant (leaves, seeds, fruit) are used in medicine. Grapes are full of antioxidants, which is very beneficial to your heart and blood pressure. They can also help with constipation, liver disorders, tooth decay and canker sores. Grapes are very high in vitamin C and vitamin E. In Europe this vine is also used ornamentally on arbours and pergolas in gardens. The leaves are used in cuisine; stuffed grape leaves are a traditional part of the Mediterranean diet.
Vitis vinifera grows best in soils with pH that ranges for 6.5 - 7, but can grow in the ranges of 4.3 - 8.6. It grows best in partial sun to full shade and prefers loamy rich soil that has good drainage.
Vine, trailing, or climbing.
ID Characteristic
Vitis vinifera, also known as the Common Grape, is a deciduous fast growing vine that has brown flaky bark; dark green leaves and clusters of small yellow flowers. It produces dark purple to black grapes.
Is very susceptible to Phylloxera, which are micropscopic louse or aphids that feed on the roots. Vitis vinifera is also susceptible to fungal diseases such as: black rot, downy mildew and powdery mildew. Xylella a bacterial disease is a serious threat to many horticultures crops due to its virulence and wide range of species it can infect. It can infect more than 560 species with wide ranging symptoms including leaf scorch, yellowing and scorching, wilt, branch and twig dieback and plant death. These symptoms can be identical to other symptoms such as drought and weather stress. Infected plants show symptoms within a few years after planting.
Vitis vinifera grows in both semi-deciduous and deciduous forests, along riverbanks with rich soils or at the bottom of hills. They can be found from Western Europe to the Transcaucasia zone.
Bark/Stem Description
This is a woody vine. Secondary growth has brown, flaky bark. Primary growth is herbaceous and green.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Dormant buds are formed in the autumn of the previous year. These buds grow from the nodes between the petiole and stem. In the winter the buds turn brown.
Leaf Description
Alternating, simple, 5 - 7 lobed, palmate leaves. The leaves are dark green in colour and turn yellow in autumn. Leaf sizes can vary anywhere between 5 - 20 cm.
Flower Description
This is a monoecios plant with complete flowers. It self-pollinates but also relies on insects and wind for pollination.
Fruit Description
Vitis vinifera produce grapes that are dark purple to black and are usually about 6 mm in size, and ripen in September- October
Colour Description
This plant has dark green leaves that turn yellow in autumn. The bark is brown and flaky and produces small and yellow blooms that last about 1-3 weeks. The grapes are dark purple to blackish.
Texture Description
Medium textured plant. It does not change textures throughout the spring and autumn but does lose its leaves in the winter.
The seed must soak in water for 24 hours, place the seed in a container with moist peat moss and put in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 weeks at a temperature of 2-3° C. After the seed has gone through the stratification process, it must be germinated at 20°C. Germination can take up to 12 months.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
The fruit is commonly used to make wine, but the juice can also be used as a sweetener once it has been concentrated. The fruit can also be dried to make raisins. The leaves can be used for cooking, and they are commonly used to wrap food. It is also frequently used as a understock in the viticulture industry.