No. 99 & 100. Vitis.
Classif. Nat. Order of Sarmentacea. Polygamia trioecia L.
Genus VITIS. Perfectly trioical. Calyx cuplike, 5 lobed before the flowers expand, entire afterwards. Corolla of fire petals oblong obtuse hooded, adhering at the summit. Five long stamina opposed to the petals. Pistil on a glandular disk, a stigma subsessile, capitate entire. Berry one celled. 2 to 5 seeds obcordate. Woody vines with alternate petiolate and stipulate leaver; tendrils and thyrsoidal racemes of flowers and fruits, opposite to the leaves.
History. I propose to give here a monography of the North American Grape Vines. The subject is new and obscure. The botanical species are scarcely indicated, and their numberless varieties have been overlooked by our best writers. I have ascertained about 40 species and 100 varieties, but I must confess that it is not always easy to say whether one or the other. I was once inclined to consider all our Grapes (like our Strawberries) as varieties of a single species, the Vitis vinifera of the old Continent, and it must be so, unless that kind is also divided into others, such as V. labrusca, V. laciniosa, V. aurea, V. farinosa, V. atra, V. corinthiaca, &c. to distinguish the wild, cut-leaved, mealy, black, and Currant Vines of Europe. While all these have been united to V. vinifera. Our native Grapes had been made into 8 or 10 species, which differ less than those, and can hardly be distinguished from them, in an exclusive point of view, except by their more permanent polygamy. My attempt to classify our Vines is therefore arduous, many species being described by authors under the same name; but I hope will be useful in making them known, and may lead to a better one when all may be examined on my plan. Many varieties have no doubt escaped my researches, they abound in the woods, since the seeds do not always re-produce the identic kind, and Major Adlum has stated to me to have seen 200 varieties at least: some, however, differ but slightly; my enumeration is ample enough to include all the principal kinds. My distinguishing characters will be taken from all the parts, branches, petioles, leaves, flowers, and fruits. I will thus offer what has hardly been done yet for the Grapes of Europe, Asia, and Africa; it will be the result of my observations during many years and many thousand miles of travels. Our vines being all wild (except a few transplanted in gardens) exhibit the spontaneous operation of nature and hybridity in this fine and valuable genus.
The following are the genera akin to Vitis, and belonging to the same natural order of Sarmentacea, distinguished by Stamens equal in number to the petals; opposed to them and inserted on a hypogynous disk: one pistil and stigma,fruit a berry.
(Omitted the rest of page 122 through to page 180. -Henriette)
Medical Flora, or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America, Vol. 2, 1830, was written by C. S. Rafinesque.