Concord (Plate XI) is the most widely known of the grapes of this
continent, and with its offspring, pure-bred and cross-bred, furnishes
75 per cent of the grapes of eastern America. The preeminently
meritorious character of Concord is that it adapts itself to varying
conditions; thus, Concord is grown with profit in every grape-growing
state in the Union and to an extent not possible with any<
other variety. A second character which commends Concord is
fruitfulness--the vine bears large crops year in and year out. Added
to these points of superiority, are: hardiness; ability to withstand
the ravages of diseases and insects; comparative earliness; certainty
of maturity in northern regions; and fair size and handsome
appearance of bunch and berry. Concord also blossoms late in the
spring and does not suffer often from spring frosts, nor is the fruit
often injured by late frosts. The crop hangs well on the vine.
The variety is not, however, without faults: the quality is not high,
the grapes lacking richness, delicacy of flavor and aroma, and having
a foxy taste disagreeable to many; the seeds and skin are
objectionable, the seeds being large and abundant and difficult to
separate from the flesh, and the skin being tough and unpleasantly
astringent; the grapes do not keep nor ship well and rapidly lose
flavor after ripening; the skin cracks and the berries shell from the
stems after picking; and the vine is but slightly resistant to
phylloxera. While Concord is grown in the South, it is essentially a
northern grape, becoming susceptible to fungi in southern climates and
suffering from phylloxera in dry, warm soils.
The botanical characters of Concord indicate that it is a pure-bred
Labrusca. Seeds of a wild grape were planted in the fall of 1843 by E.
W. Bull, Concord, Massachusetts, plants from which fruited in 1849.
One of these seedlings was named Concord.
Vine vigorous, hardy, healthy, productive. Canes long, thick, dark
reddish-brown; nodes enlarged, flattened; internodes long; shoots
pubescent; tendrils continuous, long, bifid, sometimes trifid.
Leaves large, thick; upper surface dark green, glossy, smooth;
lower surface light bronze, heavily pubescent; lobes three when
present, terminal one acute; petiolar sinus variable; basal sinus
usually lacking; lateral sinus obscure and frequently notched;
teeth shallow, narrow. Flowers self-fertile, open in mid-season;
Fruit mid-season, keeps from one to two months. Clusters uniform,
large, wide, broadly tapering, usually single-shouldered,
sometimes double-shouldered, compact; pedicel thick, smooth; brush
pale green. Berries large, round, glossy, black with heavy bloom,
firm; skin tough, adherent with a small amount of wine-colored
pigment, astringent; flesh pale green, translucent, juicy,
fine-grained, tough, solid, foxy; good. Seeds adherent, one to
four, large, broad, distinctly notched, plump, blunt, brownish.