A walnut is the nut of any tree of the genus Juglans the Persian or English walnut, Juglans regia. Technically a walnut thus not a true botanical nut, it is used for food after being processed, while green for pickled walnuts or after full ripening for its nutmeat. Nutmeat of the eastern black walnut from the Juglans nigra is less commercially available, as are butternut nutmeats from Juglans cinerea; the walnut is nutrient-dense with protein and essential fatty acids. Walnuts are rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree used for the meat after ripening. Following full ripening, the removal of the husk reveals the wrinkly walnut shell, commercially found in two segments. During the ripening process, the husk will become brittle and the shell hard; the shell encloses the kernel or meat, made up of two halves separated by a partition. The seed kernels – available as shelled walnuts – are enclosed in a brown seed coat which contains antioxidants; the antioxidants protect the oil-rich seed from atmospheric oxygen, thereby preventing rancidity.
Walnuts are late to grow leaves not until more than halfway through the spring. They secrete chemicals into the soil to prevent competing vegetation from growing; because of this, flowers or vegetable gardens should not be planted close to them. The two most common major species of walnuts are grown for their seeds – the Persian or English walnut and the black walnut; the English walnut originated in Persia, the black walnut is native to eastern North America. The black walnut is of high flavor, but due to its hard shell and poor hulling characteristics it is not grown commercially for nut production. Numerous walnut cultivars have been developed commercially, which are nearly all hybrids of the English walnut. Other species include J. californica, the California black walnut, J. cinerea, J. major, the Arizona walnut. Other sources list J. californica californica as native to southern California, Juglans californica hindsii, or just J. hindsii, as native to northern California. In 2016, worldwide production of walnuts was 3.7 million tonnes, with China contributing 48% of the world total.
Other major producers were: United States, Turkey, Mexico and Chile. The average worldwide walnut yield was about 3.5 tonnes per hectare in 2014. Eastern European countries had the highest yield, with Slovenia and Romania each harvesting about 19 tonnes per hectare. In 2014, the United States was the world's largest exporter of walnuts, followed by Turkey; the Central Valley of California produces 99 percent of total United States commerce in English walnuts. It has been been found naturalized in England. Walnuts, like other tree nuts, must be stored properly. Poor storage makes walnuts susceptible to insect and fungal mold infestations. A mold-infested walnut batch should be discarded; the ideal temperature for longest possible storage of walnuts is in the −3 to 0 °C and low humidity – for industrial and home storage. However, such refrigeration technologies are unavailable in developing countries where walnuts are produced in large quantities. Temperatures above 30 °C, humidities above 70 percent can lead to rapid and high spoilage losses.
Above 75 percent humidity threshold, fungal molds that release dangerous aflatoxin can form. Walnut meats are available in two forms; the meats may be whole, halved, or in smaller portions due to processing. Walnuts are candied, may be used as an ingredient in other foodstuffs. Pickled walnuts that are the whole fruit can be savory or sweet depending on the preserving solution. Walnut butters can be purchased in both raw and roasted forms. All walnuts can be eaten on their own or as part of a mix such as muesli, or as an ingredient of a dish. For example, walnut soup and walnut pie are prepared using walnuts as a main ingredient. Walnut Whip and walnut cake, pickled walnuts are more examples. Walnut is the main ingredient of a khoresh in Iranian cuisine. Walnuts are popular in brownie recipes, as ice cream toppings, walnut pieces are used as a garnish on some foods. Nocino is a liqueur made from unripe green walnuts steeped in alcohol with syrup added. Walnut oil is available commercially and is chiefly used as a food ingredient in salad dressings.
It has a low smoke point. Walnuts without shells are 4% water, 15% protein, 65% fat, 14% carbohydrates, including 7% dietary fiber. In a 100-gram serving, walnuts provide 2,740 kilojoules and rich content of several dietary minerals manganese at 163% DV, B vitamins. While English walnuts are the most consumed, their nutrient density and profile are similar to those of black walnuts. Unlike most nuts that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, walnut oil is composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, although it does contain oleic acid as 13% of total fats. In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration provided a Qualified Health Claim allowing products containing walnuts to state
The garden strawberry is a grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria, collectively known as the strawberries. It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit; the fruit is appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as preserves, pies, ice creams and chocolates. Artificial strawberry flavorings and aromas are widely used in many products like lip gloss, hand sanitizers and many others; the garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in the 1750s via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, brought from Chile by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714. Cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa have replaced, in commercial production, the woodland strawberry, the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th century; the strawberry is not, from a botanical point of view, a berry. Technically, it is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant's ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries.
Each apparent "seed" on the outside of the fruit is one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it. In 2016, world production of strawberries was 9.2 million tonnes, led by China with 41% of the total. The first garden strawberry was grown in Brittany, during the late 18th century. Prior to this, wild strawberries and cultivated selections from wild strawberry species were the common source of the fruit; the strawberry fruit was mentioned in ancient Roman literature in reference to its medicinal use. The French began taking the strawberry from the forest to their gardens for harvest in the 14th century. Charles V, France's king from 1364 to 1380, had 1,200 strawberry plants in his royal garden. In the early 15th century western European monks were using the wild strawberry in their illuminated manuscripts; the strawberry is found in Italian and German art, in English miniatures. The entire strawberry plant was used to treat depressive illnesses. By the 16th century, references of cultivation of the strawberry became more common.
People began using it for its supposed medicinal properties and botanists began naming the different species. In England the demand for regular strawberry farming had increased by the mid-16th century; the combination of strawberries and cream was created by Thomas Wolsey in the court of King Henry VIII. Instructions for growing and harvesting strawberries showed up in writing in 1578. By the end of the 16th century three European species had been cited: F. vesca, F. moschata, F. viridis. The garden strawberry was transplanted from the forests and the plants would be propagated asexually by cutting off the runners. Two subspecies of F. vesca were identified: F. sylvestris alba and F. sylvestris semperflorens. The introduction of F. virginiana from Eastern North America to Europe in the 17th century is an important part of history because this species gave rise to the modern strawberry. The new species spread through the continent and did not become appreciated until the end of the 18th century.
When a French excursion journeyed to Chile in 1712, it introduced the North American strawberry plant with female flowers that resulted in the common strawberry that we have today. The Mapuche and Huilliche Indians of Chile cultivated the female strawberry species until 1551, when the Spanish came to conquer the land. In 1765, a European explorer recorded the cultivation of the Chilean strawberry. At first introduction to Europe, the plants produced no fruit, it was discovered in 1766 that the female plants could only be pollinated by plants that produced large fruit: F. moschata, F. virginiana, F. ananassa. This is when the Europeans became aware that plants had the ability to produce male-only or female-only flowers; as more large-fruit producing plants were cultivated the Chilean strawberry decreased in population in Europe, except for around Brest where the Chilean strawberry thrived. The decline of the Chilean strawberry was caused by F. ananassa. Strawberry cultivars vary in size, flavor, degree of fertility, season of ripening, liability to disease and constitution of plant.
On average, a strawberry has about 200 seeds on its external membrane. Some vary in foliage, some vary materially in the relative development of their sexual organs. In most cases, the flowers appear hermaphroditic in structure, but function as either male or female. For purposes of commercial production, plants are propagated from runners and, in general, distributed as either bare root plants or plugs. Cultivation follows one of two general models—annual plasticulture, or a perennial system of matted rows or mounds. Greenhouses produce a small amount of strawberries during the off season; the bulk of modern commercial production uses the plasticulture system. In this method, raised beds are formed each year and covered with plastic to prevent weed growth and erosion. Plants obtained from northern nurseries, are planted through holes punched in this covering, irrigation tubing is run underneath. Runners are removed from the plants as they appear, in order to encourage the plants to put most of their energy into fruit development.
At the end of the harvest season, the plastic is removed and the plants are plowed into the ground. Because strawberry plants more than a year or two old begin to decline in productivity and fruit quality, this system of replacing the plants each year allows for improved yields and denser plantings. However, because it requires a longer growing season to allow for estab
The tomato is the edible red, berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum known as a tomato plant. The species originated in western South America; the Nahuatl word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word tomate, from which the English word tomato derived. Its use as a cultivated food may have originated with the indigenous peoples of Mexico; the Spanish encountered the tomato from their contact with the Aztec during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and brought it to Europe. From there, the tomato was introduced to other parts of the European-colonized world during the 16th century; the tomato is consumed in diverse ways, raw or cooked, in many dishes, sauces and drinks. While tomatoes are fruits — botanically classified as berries — they are used as a vegetable ingredient or side dish. Numerous varieties of the tomato plant are grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing for the production of tomatoes throughout all seasons of the year. Tomato plants grow to 1–3 meters in height.
They are vines that have a weak stem that sprawls and needs support. Indeterminate tomato plants are cultivated as annuals. Determinate, or bush, plants are annuals that stop growing at a certain height and produce a crop all at once; the size of the tomato varies according to the cultivar, with a range of 0.5–4 inches in width. The word "tomato" comes from the Spanish tomate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word tomatl, meaning "the swelling fruit"; the native Mexican tomatillo is tomate. When Aztecs started to cultivate the Andean fruit to be larger and red, they called the new species xitomatl; the scientific species epithet lycopersicum is interpreted from Latin in the 1753 book, Species Plantarum, as "wolfpeach", where wolf is from lyco and peach is from persicum. The usual pronunciations of "tomato" are and; the word's dual pronunciations were immortalized in Ira and George Gershwin's 1937 song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and have become a symbol for nitpicking pronunciation disputes.
In this capacity, it has become an American and British slang term: saying "" when presented with two choices can mean "What's the difference?" or "It's all the same to me". Botanically, a tomato is a fruit—a berry, consisting of the ovary, together with its seeds, of a flowering plant. However, the tomato is considered a "culinary vegetable" because it has a much lower sugar content than culinary fruits. Tomatoes are not the only food source with this ambiguity; this has led to legal dispute in the United States. In 1887, U. S. tariff laws that imposed a duty on vegetables, but not on fruit, caused the tomato's status to become a matter of legal importance. The U. S. Supreme Court settled this controversy on May 10, 1893, by declaring that the tomato is a vegetable, based on the popular definition that classifies vegetables by use—they are served with dinner and not dessert; the holding of this case applies only to the interpretation of the Tariff of 1883, the court did not purport to reclassify the tomato for botanical or other purposes.
Tomato plants are vines decumbent growing 180 cm or more above the ground if supported, although erect bush varieties have been bred 100 cm tall or shorter. Indeterminate types are "tender" perennials, dying annually in temperate climates, although they can live up to three years in a greenhouse in some cases. Determinate types are annual in all climates. Tomato plants are dicots, grow as a series of branching stems, with a terminal bud at the tip that does the actual growing; when that tip stops growing, whether because of pruning or flowering, lateral buds take over and grow into other functional, vines. Tomato vines are pubescent, meaning covered with fine short hairs; these hairs facilitate the vining process, turning into roots wherever the plant is in contact with the ground and moisture if the vine's connection to its original root has been damaged or severed. Most tomato plants have compound leaves, are called regular leaf plants, but some cultivars have simple leaves known as potato leaf style because of their resemblance to that particular relative.
Of RL plants, there are variations, such as rugose leaves, which are grooved, variegated, angora leaves, which have additional colors where a genetic mutation causes chlorophyll to be excluded from some portions of the leaves. The leaves are 10–25 cm long, odd pinnate, with five to 9 leaflets on petioles, each leaflet up to 8 cm long, with a serrated margin, their flowers, appearing on the apical meristem, have the anthers fused along the edges, forming a column surrounding the pistil's style. Flowers in domestic cultivars can be self-fertilizing; the flowers are 1–2 cm across, with five pointed lobes on the corolla. Tomato fruit is classified as a berry; as a true fruit, it develops from the ovary of the plant after fertilization, its flesh comprising
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may allow selfing; some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization. Flowers are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds. In addition to facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans to bring beauty to their environment, as objects of romance, religion, medicine and as a source of food; the essential parts of a flower can be considered in two parts: the vegetative part, consisting of petals and associated structures in the perianth, the reproductive or sexual parts. A stereotypical flower consists of four kinds of structures attached to the tip of a short stalk.
Each of these kinds of parts is arranged in a whorl on the receptacle. The four main whorls are as follows: Collectively the calyx and corolla form the perianth. Calyx: the outermost whorl consisting of units called sepals. Corolla: the next whorl toward the apex, composed of units called petals, which are thin and colored to attract animals that help the process of pollination. Androecium: the next whorl, consisting of units called stamens. Stamens consist of two parts: a stalk called a filament, topped by an anther where pollen is produced by meiosis and dispersed. Gynoecium: the innermost whorl of a flower, consisting of one or more units called carpels; the carpel or multiple fused carpels form a hollow structure called an ovary, which produces ovules internally. Ovules are megasporangia and they in turn produce megaspores by meiosis which develop into female gametophytes; these give rise to egg cells. The gynoecium of a flower is described using an alternative terminology wherein the structure one sees in the innermost whorl is called a pistil.
A pistil may consist of a number of carpels fused together. The sticky tip of the pistil, the stigma, is the receptor of pollen; the supportive stalk, the style, becomes the pathway for pollen tubes to grow from pollen grains adhering to the stigma. The relationship to the gynoecium on the receptacle is described as hypogynous, perigynous, or epigynous. Although the arrangement described above is considered "typical", plant species show a wide variation in floral structure; these modifications have significance in the evolution of flowering plants and are used extensively by botanists to establish relationships among plant species. The four main parts of a flower are defined by their positions on the receptacle and not by their function. Many flowers lack some parts or parts may be modified into other functions and/or look like what is another part. In some families, like Ranunculaceae, the petals are reduced and in many species the sepals are colorful and petal-like. Other flowers have modified stamens.
Flowers show great variation and plant scientists describe this variation in a systematic way to identify and distinguish species. Specific terminology is used to describe their parts. Many flower parts are fused together; when petals are fused into a tube or ring that falls away as a single unit, they are sympetalous. Connate petals may have distinctive regions: the cylindrical base is the tube, the expanding region is the throat and the flaring outer region is the limb. A sympetalous flower, with bilateral symmetry with an upper and lower lip, is bilabiate. Flowers with connate petals or sepals may have various shaped corolla or calyx, including campanulate, tubular, salverform or rotate. Referring to "fusion," as it is done, appears questionable because at least some of the processes involved may be non-fusion processes. For example, the addition of intercalary growth at or below the base of the primordia of floral appendages such as sepals, petals and carpels may lead to a common base, not the result of fusion.
Many flowers have a symmetry. When the perianth is bisected through the central axis from any point and symmetrical halves are produced, the flower is said to be actinomorphic or regular, e.g. rose or trillium. This is an example of radial symmetry; when flowers are bisected and produce only one line that produces symmetrical halves, the flower is said to be irregular or zygomorphic, e.g. snapdragon or most orchids. Flowers may be directly attached to the plant at their base; the stem or stalk subtending a flower is called a peduncle. If a peduncle supports more than o
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses and sheep. However, it is fed to smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Pigs may be fed hay, but they do not digest it as efficiently as herbivores. Hay can be used as animal fodder when or where there is not enough pasture or rangeland on which to graze an animal, when grazing is not feasible due to weather, or when lush pasture by itself would be too rich for the health of the animal, it is fed when an animal is unable to access pasture, e.g. the animal is being kept in a stable or barn. Used plants for hay include mixtures of grasses such as ryegrass, brome, Bermuda grass, orchard grass, other species, depending on region. Hay may include legumes, such as alfalfa and clovers. Legumes in hay are ideally cut pre-bloom. Other pasture forbs are sometimes a part of the mix, though these plants are not desired as certain forbs are toxic to some animals.
Oat and wheat plant materials are cut green and made into hay for animal fodder. Straw is used for animal bedding. Although straw is used as fodder as a source of dietary fiber, it has lower nutritional value than hay, it is the leaf and seed material in the hay that determines its quality, because they contain more of the nutrition value for the animal than the stems do. Farmers try to harvest hay at the point when the seed heads are not quite ripe and the leaf is at its maximum when the grass is mowed in the field; the cut material is allowed to dry so that the bulk of the moisture is removed but the leafy material is still robust enough to be picked up from the ground by machinery and processed into storage in bales, stacks or pits. Methods of haymaking thus aim to minimize the shattering and falling away of the leaves during handling. Hay is sensitive to weather conditions when it is harvested. In drought conditions, both seed and leaf production are stunted, making hay that has a high ratio of dry coarse stems that have low nutritional values.
If the weather is too wet, the cut hay may spoil in the field. Thus the biggest challenge and risk for farmers in producing hay crops is the weather the weather of the particular few weeks when the plants are at the best age/maturity for hay. A lucky break in the weather moves the haymaking tasks to the top priority on the farm's to-do list; this is reflected in the idiom to make hay. Hay, too wet at cutting may develop rot and mold after being baled, creating the potential for toxins to form in the feed, which could make the animals sick. After harvest, hay has to be stored in a manner to prevent it from getting wet. Mold and spoilage may cause illness in animals. A symbiotic fungus in fescue may cause illness in cattle; the successful harvest of maximum yields of high-quality hay is dependent on the coincident occurrence of optimum crop and weather conditions. When this occurs, there may be a period of intense activity on the hay farm while harvest proceeds until weather conditions become unfavourable.
Hay or grass is the foundation of the diet for all grazing animals and can provide as much as 100% of the fodder required for an animal. Hay is fed to an animal in place of allowing the animal to graze on grasses in a pasture in the winter or during times when drought or other conditions make pasture unavailable. Animals that can eat hay vary in the types of grasses suitable for consumption, the ways they consume hay, how they digest it. Therefore, different types of animals require hay that consists of similar plants to what they would eat while grazing, plants that are toxic to an animal in pasture are toxic if they are dried into hay. Most animals are fed hay in two daily feedings and evening. However, this schedule is more for the convenience of humans, as most grazing animals on pasture consume fodder in multiple feedings throughout the day; some animals those being raised for meat, may be given enough hay that they are able to eat all day. Other animals those that are ridden or driven as working animals, are only free to eat when not working, may be given a more limited amount of hay to prevent them from getting too fat.
The proper amount of hay and the type of hay required varies somewhat between different species. Some animals are fed concentrated feeds such as grain or vitamin supplements in addition to hay. In most cases, hay or pasture forage must make up 50% or more of the diet by weight. One of the most significant differences in hay digestion is between ruminant animals, such as cattle and sheep. Both types of animals do so by different mechanisms; because of the four-chambered stomach of cattle, they are able to break down older forage and have more tolerance of mold and changes in diet. The single-chambered stomach and cecum or "hindgut" of the horse uses bacterial processes to break down cellulose that are more sensitive to changes in feeds and the presence of mold or other toxins, requiring horses to be fed hay of a more consistent type and quality. Different animals use hay in different ways
A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, juice, grape seed extract, raisins and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit occurring in clusters; the cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East. Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine; the earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of wine-making in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in Georgia. The oldest known winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC. By the 9th century AD the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East, thus it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, history attests to the ancient Greeks and Romans growing purple grapes for both eating and wine production.
The growing of grapes would spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, in North America. In North America, native grapes belonging to various species of the genus Vitis proliferate in the wild across the continent, were a part of the diet of many Native Americans, but were considered by early European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. In the 19th century, Ephraim Bull of Concord, cultivated seeds from wild Vitis labrusca vines to create the Concord grape which would become an important agricultural crop in the United States. Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, can be crimson, dark blue, green and pink. "White" grapes are green in color, are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.
Grapes are an ellipsoid shape resembling a prolate spheroid. Most grapes come from cultivars of Vitis vinifera, the European grapevine native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Minor amounts of fruit and wine come from American and Asian species such as: Vitis amurensis, the most important Asian species Vitis labrusca, the North American table and grape juice grapevines, sometimes used for wine, are native to the Eastern United States and Canada. Vitis mustangensis, found in Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma Vitis riparia, a wild vine of North America, is sometimes used for winemaking and for jam, it is native to the entire Eastern U. S. and north to Quebec. Vitis rotundifolia used for jams and wine, are native to the Southeastern United States from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes. 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted for fruits canned "with no added sugar" and "100% natural".
The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year. There are no reliable statistics, it is believed that the most planted variety is Sultana known as Thompson Seedless, with at least 3,600 km2 dedicated to it. The second most common variety is Airén. Other popular varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Tempranillo and Chardonnay. Commercially cultivated grapes can be classified as either table or wine grapes, based on their intended method of consumption: eaten raw or used to make wine. While all of them belong to the same species, Vitis vinifera and wine grapes have significant differences, brought about through selective breeding. Table grape cultivars tend to have large, seedless fruit with thin skin. Wine grapes are smaller seeded, have thick skins. Wine grapes tend to be sweet: they are harvested at the time when their juice is 24% sugar by weight. By comparison, commercially produced "100% grape juice", made from table grapes, is around 15% sugar by weight.
Seedless cultivars now make up the overwhelming majority of table grape plantings. Because grapevines are vegetatively propagated by cuttings, the lack of seeds does not present a problem for reproduction, it is an issue for breeders, who must either use a seeded variety as the female parent or rescue embryos early in development using tissue culture techniques. There are several sources of the seedlessness trait, all commercial cultivators get it from one of three sources: Thompson Seedless, Russian Seedless, Black Monukka, all being cultivars of Vitis vinifera. There are more than a dozen varieties of seedless grapes. Several, such as Einset Seedless, Benjamin Gunnels's Prime seedless grapes and Venus, have been cultivated for hardiness and quality in the cold climates of northeastern United States and southern Ontario. An offset to the improved eating quality of seedlessness is the loss of potential health benefits provided by the enriched phytochemical conten