The 'Bronx Seedless' Grape:
An early success from the Cornell-Geneva and New York Botanical Garden
Grape Breeding Project

Dr. Arlow Burdette Stout
(photo from the Archives of The New York Botanical Garden)

Table grape breeding began at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in 1888, and a breeding project to develop seedless table grapes began in 1919. This project started as a cooperative venture between the Station and the New York Botanical Gardens. Bronx, NY. The project leader was Dr. A.B. Stout of the Botanical Gardens. He directed the project from 1919 until his retirement in 1948. The first grape named was called 'Stout Seedless' and the second grape was the 'Bronx Seedless'. The cross was made in 1925 and 68 seedlings were raised. 'Bronx Seedless' was selected from among these 68 seedlings in 1931 and officially named in 1937.

In the eastern United States, the 'Bronx Seedless' grape is not an ideal choice. Though noted for good flavor and fruit quality along with large attractive clusters of pink seedless berries, the vine is susceptible to fungal diseases, fruit cracking, and cold damage following most winters in Geneva. Though it never did well in the east, it appears to have a following in western states, where it can sometimes be found for sale at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmer's market in the month of August. Nursery catalogs continue to carry the 'Bronx Seedless' grape.

(Photo of 'Bronx Seedless' at right was scanned from: Stout, A.B., "Seedlessness in Grapes", Technical Bulletin no. 238, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, January 1936.)


Download a description of 'Bronx Seedless' from Bulletin 794, July 1962, here: Bulletin 794 PDF file
n addition to a detailed description of 'Bronx Seedless', this bulletin excerpt also provides a brief history of grapevine breeding at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station, along with descriptions of cultivars Himrod, Interlaken, Romulus, and Concord Seedless.


Parentage of the 'Bronx Seedless' grape, named 1937.


Parentage of the 'Stout Seedless' grape, named 1929.

(Acknowledgement: Mike Fordon, Public Services Assistant at the Frank A. Lee Library, NYSAES, Geneva, contributed to the development of this web page.)

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