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Abundant Future: Cultivating Diversity in Garden, Farm, and Field


Wild Fox Grape

Vitis labrusca

According to Wikipedia, wine historians speculate that Vitis labrusca, the fox grape, was probably the species seen by Viking explorer Leif Ericsson in the eleventh century, growing wild along the east coast of North America, inspiring the name “Vinland.” In the nineteenth century Ephraim Bull of Concord, Massachusetts, cultivated seeds from the wild labrusca vines to create the Concord grape. The cultivated grape would become an important agricultural crop in New England and throughout the United States for grape juice, jams, jellies, and, of course, wine. Incidentally, the “fox” in the name does not refer to the animal, although foxes have been observed eating the grapes. Instead “foxy” was once a catch-all term to describe the unique, earthy, and sweet muskiness of the fruit.

Here in northwest Connecticut along the country lane where my home is located, fox grapes grow in abundance. They can be found intertwined in a complex tangle clinging to trees, bushes, and old cow pasture fences. Electric utility poles and even the attached electrical wires are not able to avoid the ubiquitous creeping vines. Their propinquity, along with the artistic challenge, made my illustration choice inevitable, and very much in keeping with my focus on habitats.

In this composition I set out to provide a fairly complete representation of the Vitis labrusca life cycle, from the early spring buds on through all the developmental stages leading to the fully ripened grape and the end of the growing season.


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Read more about this artist’s work: 23rd Annual

Abundant Future-rogers-knox -wild-fox-grape

Vitis labrusca

Wild Fox Grape

Watercolor on paper

16 x 21 inches

©2020 Betsy Rogers-Knox

2024 ASBA - All rights reserved

All artwork copyrighted by the artist. Copying, saving, reposting, or republishing of artwork prohibited without express permission of the artist.

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