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Products > Vitis 'Roger's Red'
Vitis 'Roger's Red' - Roger's California Grape
Image of Vitis 'Roger's Red'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Vitaceae (Grapes)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Flower Color: Greenish White
Bloomtime: Spring
Parentage: (Vitis californica x V. vinifera)
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: 15-30 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Vitis 'Roger's Red' (Roger's California Grape) A fast growing deciduous grape vine that has as one parent the grape native to central California. It can grow 25-40 feet tall and wide with support with dull grayish green that are transformed into great draperies of rich, scarlet red leaves in the fall. It has small fairly insignificant flowers followed by edible grapes that are small and dark purple the juice is very tasty but it has a large seed and a bitter skin so most don't enjoy eating much of it, but birds certainly find it tasty.

Plant in full sun to part shade - sun grown plants develop the best fall color. It is frost hardy and has low water needs. An attractive large plant that is great when trained across an arbor or other support.

Vitis 'Roger's Red' was a selection made by Roger Raiche, who came across this unusual red specimen while driving in Sonoma County in 1983. This plant has been quite popular because it is visually attractive, its fruit attractive to wildlife and because it was thought to be a native California plant; however recent DNA studies on this plant indicate that it is not a pure Vitis californica selection, as originally thought, but is a hybrid between our native grape and Vitis vinifera, the grape of commerce. In 2006 we were contacted by Dr. Les Goertzen in the Biological Sciences at Auburn University about supplying pieces of Vitis 'Roger's Red' and subsequent DNA sequences suggested that it is a hybrid. In the process they recovered a pure V. californica allele and a mixed cal/vinifera allele, apparently resulting from recombination. This combination suggested to Dr. Goertzen that it was a backcross of some advanced generation, rather than a simple V. californica and V. vinifera F1 hybrid. This was explained in the October/November 2011 issue of Pacific Horticulture in an article by Roger Raiche titled Vitis Roger's Red'.

We have grown this plant at our nursery since 1997 and have a large specimen plant that stretches 60 feet across the front of our electric cart barn behind our main office. 

This information about Vitis 'Roger's Red' displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.