Watermelon is grown in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide for its large edible fruit, also known as a watermelon, which is a special kind of berry with a hard rind and no internal division, botanically called a pepo. The sweet, juicy flesh is usually deep red to pink, with many black seeds, although seedless varieties have been cultivated.
Plant Morphology : Growth Form: An annual, monoecious vine. It has a twining growth habit and can grow up from 1.5 to 5m in length. Roots: The root system is extensive and shallow. Foliage: The deeply lobed leaves are alternately arranged along the stem and are oblong-ovate in shape with a cordate leaf base. Stems: The herbaceous stem is angular, grooved and is covered with long, white hairs. Flowers: The pale yellow flowers are solitary and are borne in the leaf axils. The male flowers have 3 stamens while the female flowers have an inferior ovary and a 3-lobed stigma. Both flowers have a 5-lobed calyx and a 5-parted corolla. Fruits: The fruit is a pepo, its shape varies from globular to oblong to elliptical. The colour of the fruit also varies from stripes to mottled or uniform and is hairy or glabrous to the touch. The flesh of the fruit varies from red to yellow.
Did tou know?
Many cultivars are available that produce mature fruit within 100 days of planting the crop.
The more than 1200 cultivars of watermelon range in weight from less than 1 kg to more than 90 kilograms (200 lb); the flesh can be red, pink, orange, yellow or white.
Watermelon's Behavior & Ecology
It is best grown in a warm, sunny and dry climate for rapid growth and fruiting. Excessive humidity and rainfall induces excessive vegetative growth and fruit rot. It is best grown in slightly acidic, fertile and well-drained soil with a high amount of organic matter mixed in.
Propagation Method : From seeds found inside of the fruit.
Watermelon's Relationship with Humans
Watermelon is grown in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide for its large edible fruit, the fruit can be eaten raw or pickled and the rind is edible after cooking. Considerable breeding effort has been put into disease-resistant varieties. Cultivated in almost all the inhabited islands specially for the month of Ramadan.
Nutrients: Watermelon fruit is 91% water, contains 6% sugars, and is low in fat (table). In a 100 gram serving, watermelon fruit supplies 30 calories and low amounts of essential nutrients (table). Only vitamin C is present in appreciable content at 10% of the Daily Value (table). Watermelon pulp contains carotenoids, including lycopene. The amino acid citrulline is produced in watermelon rind.