State Fruit: Scuppernong Grape

by Steven Case
NC Government & Heritage Library, 2007

See also: Scuppernong Grape (Encyclopedia of North Carolina); Fox Grape

The General Assembly of 2001 named the Scuppernong grape as the official State Fruit (Session laws, 2001, c. 488). The same session law declared the strawberry and blueberry to be the state berries.

Illustration of scuppernong grape specimen from Roanoke Island, N.C., by Amanda Almira Newton, 1905. U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, M.D.The Scuppernong (vitis rotundifolia) is a variety of muscadine grape, and has the distinction of being the first grape ever actively cultivated in the United States. It was named for the Scuppernong River, which runs from Washington County to the Albemarle Sound. Giovanni de Verrazano noticed this variety as far back as 1524, and explorers for Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh, as it's sometimes spelled) in the 1580's sent back reports from the Outer Banks of grape vines that "…covered every shrub and climbed the tops of high cedars. In all the world, a similar abundance was not to be found." The Roanoke colonists are credited with discovering the Scuppernong "Mother Vineyard," a vine that is now over 400 years old and covers half an acre.


Whereas, North Carolina's economy originated and developed as an agrarian economy with a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables; and
Whereas, the State takes great pride in its rich heritage of farming; and
Whereas, there are still many families who base their livelihood in farming and who are continuing the North Carolina tradition of producing goods from our land; and
Whereas, one of the main sources of agricultural production in the State is the production of fruits and berries of several varieties; and

Whereas, North Carolina is the home of our nation's first cultivated grape, the Scuppernong; and
Whereas, the Scuppernong grape was named after the Scuppernong River in North Carolina; and
Whereas, British explorers in 1584 and 1585 reported to Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh that the barrier islands of what is now, in part, Roanoke Island were full of grapes and that the soil of the land was "so abounding with sweet trees that bring rich and most pleasant gummes, grapes of such greatness, yet wild, as France, Spain, nor Italy hath not greater…"; and
Whereas, Sir Walter Raleigh's colony discovered the famous Scuppernong "Mother Vineyard" on Roanoke Island, a vine that is now over 400 years old and has a trunk over two feet thick; and
Whereas, the State toast, penned in 1904, references North Carolina as the land "[w]here the scuppernong perfumes the breeze at night,"; and

Montage of North Carolina's State Fruits: The Strawberry, Blueberry, and Scuppernong Grape. PART III.  THE STRAWBERRY AND THE BLUEBERRY.
Whereas, there are over 1,700 acres of strawberries and over 3,600 acres of blueberries harvested in North Carolina each year; and
Whereas, in 2000, strawberry growers in the State produced 23,000,000 pounds of strawberries, yielding $17,325,000 in revenues; and
Whereas, in 2000, blueberry growers in the State produced 17,500,000 pounds of blueberries, resulting in an increase in the State's economy of over $18,000,000 in revenues; and
Whereas, these delicious berries are a good source of vitamins, a number of life?sustaining minerals, and dietary fiber;
Whereas, the blueberry is an antioxidant, which has been proven to reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease; and
Whereas, each year the Town of Chadbourn in Columbus County hosts the North Carolina Strawberry Festival, which is one of the most celebrated traditions in the State; and
Whereas, the State of North Carolina does not have an official fruit nor an official berry; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  Chapter 145 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 145-18. State fruit and State berries.
(a)       The official fruit of the State of North Carolina is the Scuppernong grape (Vitis genus).
(b)       The official red berry of the State is the strawberry (Fragaria genus).
(c)       The official blue berry of the State is the blueberry (Vaccinium genus)."
SECTION 2.  This act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 5th day of December, 2001.
                                                                    s/ Beverly E. Perdue
                                                                       President of the Senate

                                                                    s/ James B. Black
                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives

                                                                    s/ Michael F. Easley

Approved 6:58 p.m. this 16th day of December, 2001

Average: 4 (210 votes)

References and additional resources: (NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs.)

Poling, Barclay and Connie Fisk. "Muscadine Grapes in the Home Garden." North Carolina State University, Horticulture Information Leaflets.

Image credit:

Newton, Amanda Alimira. [Illustration.] 1905. U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, M.D. (accessed June 14, 2017).

Mandie (Flickr user captivated), 2003. "Scuppernongs getting ripe."




maybe we should add more info?


Hi Josh,

Thanks for visiting this article!  What type of additional information would you like to see here?  Please let us know and we will look into updating the article.

Feel free to post a reply back here with your ideas.

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library


this is a great recourse for my homework and my teacher says it is to


i liked the article.


I want to purchase scuppernong grapes and have them sent to me in Minnesota. What website can ordering the fruit, not the vine, be found?

I'm from South Carolina and I cannot locate them in Minnesota.

Thank you.


Plenty will be here in South Carolina Mid-late August - mid-late Sept. Sold at the Pee Dee Framers Market at Florence SC. and the State Framers Market Columbia. We always visit Florence and may find the answer for you and will let you know. I'll check for dealers that may ship. Here in my own area, they only are used for wines & juice for jelly/jams.

But try Hymans Vineyard in Conway SC They sale wines/cases and the grape juice in large containers. Check it out, maybe they would ship grapes!

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