Saturday, November 20, 2010

A New Grape Variety?

There are two ways of propagating plants. One is sexually by seed, the other is asexually by vegetative means eg. cuttings, grafting, budding, layering are some of many.
One of the problems with sexual propagation is that in many cases a seed will not produce an exact ‘copy’ of the female parent due to its heterozygous nature.
On the other hand vegetative propagation will ensure an exact 'copy' of the parent.
Last year I found a grape seedling growing in a remote part of the garden. One can only assume the seed was deposited there by a bird and it came from one of the five varieties of grapes I grow here.
So I dug it up and planted it in a pot.
This year it has grown extremely well.
And the resultant vine is quite a puzzle .
The leaves of the new vine (top) look pretty much like Cabernet Sauvignon (bottom) with medium deeply five lobed leaves and the petiolar sinus cut right into the veins at the base. The only other vine that I know of with the latter characteristic is Chardonnay but its leaves are three lobed and very much different in shape.

The most distinguishing feature of the new vine however is its red shoots and red leaf veins and none of the established vines here have that.
Do we have a new variety here?
Will the fruit be red or white?
Next year I will plant it out and wait to see what eventuates.

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