The wild southern fox grape, commonly called muscadine grape, grows from Texas to south Florida, north to Delaware and west to Missouri. These grapes are edible and tasty fruit and can be consumed fresh or to make wine and an assortment of jams, jellies, and other preserves.
The grapes are the favorite food source for wild animals such as white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, raccoon, skunk, squirrel, and opossum. Birds such as cardinals, mockingbirds, robins, and cedar waxwings also like the grape. I do not know any commercial growers of this grape in Florida, but they are wildly grown all over Florida.
The muscadine grape vs the wild grape
The wild grapes grown wildly in Florida are wild muscadine grapes. There are hundreds of named muscadine grapes in the wild that produce dark purple fruit with usually 4 to 10 fruits per cluster. However, there are several cultivars of muscadine with desired characteristics such as large, sweet, and attractive, with relatively thin skin fruit that are grown commercially. Some of the recommended muscadine cultivars for the fresh market include ‘Black Beauty’, Black Fry’, ‘Farrar’, ‘Fry’, ‘Granny Val’, ‘Ison’, and ‘Pam’. — By Amir Rezazadeh, University of Florida Institute of Food & Ag Sciences