Citrullus vulgaris L.
French: pastèque, melon d'eau
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin melo. The “water“ part of its name refers, of course, to its high water content.
A large oval melon with smooth green skin surrounding a thick white rind and juicy pulp.
Watermelon has been grown in warm Mediterranean climates since ancient times and even appears in Egyptian hieroglyphics. It has long been valued in semi-arid regions as a source of water during the dry season. In numerous Mediterranean countries you’ll find vendors selling watermelons in the streets. The watermelon was brought to the United States by slaves from Africa. The US is now the world’s fourth-largest producer, growing over 200 varieties of watermelon in 44 states.
The watermelon is an annual plant with climbing vines and jagged leaves. Its striking yellow flowers produce smooth spherical or oblong fruit that can weigh from 8 to 30 lb. The melon’s skin may be uniformly green or variegated. Its flesh is sweet, with abundant juice.
While the covering of the rind is dark green, the color of the flesh varies. There are varieties with:
• red flesh and black seeds
• yellow flesh and black or white seeds
• white flesh and red seeds
There are also seedless varieties.
Photo : ID 14812549 / Maryna Pleshkun / MSCOMM
Hints & Tips