The grapevine has been of commercial importance for centuries. The Greeks and Romans raised grapes and made wine from them. The wine grape appears to have originated in the Mediterranean basin, but many varieties of grape have developed. European varieties have been transplanted to North America, and the process has also worked in reverse. In the late nineteenth century, when a devastating disease known as phylloxera ravaged French vineyards, American grapevine rootstock was imported into France, and the French vines grafted onto it, because the American rootstock had shown itself less subject to the disease.
Another vine is the ivy. There are ivies native to almost every continent, but European ivy, sometimes called English ivy, has spread far beyond its native ground. It is popular as a wall covering and is frequently seen in gardens.
Nancy M. Gordon
See also: Arctic tundra; European agriculture; Forests; Mediterranean scrub.
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