The Watermelon is the only fruit that is both a fruit and a vegetable.
One of the main reasons why watermelons are named that way is because they are 92% water.
It’s hard to beat a slice of Watermelon on a hot summer day.
Watermelon is not only thirst-quenching but also contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other wholesome phytonutrients. Watermelon is not the most nutritive fruit, but it does provide some nutrients.
Watermelon Facts for Kids
- Watermelons are 92% water, keeping you hydrated.
- They’re a fruit and a vegetable!
- The largest watermelon weighed 350.5 pounds.
- Watermelons contain vitamins A and C.
- They come in 1200 different varieties.
- A watermelon’s color inside can be red, yellow, or white.
- Watermelons originally come from Africa.
- The seeds and rind are also edible.
- Watermelons take 80-90 days to grow.
- They are part of the cucumber and squash family.
The Edible Rind on a Watermelon
It is also possible to eat the rind of the melon, just as you can a cucumber.
Cucumbers are cousins to watermelons. In China, the rind is used in cooking for stir-fried food, pickled, and stewed.
A lot of countries sell dried or roasted watermelon seeds. They’re good for snacks.
The History of the Watermelon
Watermelons came from West Africa, where they grow wild.
Sweet watermelons are related to West African watermelons called Citrullus mucosospermus.
Watermelons have been around for over 5000 years in southern Africa, where the tough, drought-tolerant ancestor thrived.
Despite not being aware of the plant’s exact identity, researchers know it was valued for its capacity to store water and was used by indigenous tribes living in the Kalahari Desert region.
As compared to modern Watermelon, its flesh was bitter, and people endemic to the region roasted and consumed its seeds as a source of nourishment, in addition to taking advantage of its water content.
The Nile Valley is known to have produced wild watermelons. Egyptian tombs found with watermelon seeds and paintings date back 4000 years.
Hippocrates, Dioscorides, and other Greek doctors praised Watermelon for its healing properties and used it as a diuretic and for treating kids who had heatstroke.
In the settlements around the Dead Sea, watermelon seeds were found.
In India, watermelons were first cultivated in the 7th century.
In the 10th century, China had become adept at cultivating Watermelon.
Around the 10th century, the Moors introduced Watermelon to Spain.
Watermelon was brought to the New World by African slaves and European colonists.
In the 17th century, it was planted around the world.
Watermelons were first cultivated in Florida by Spanish settlers in the 16th and 17th centuries and subsequently by Native Americans.
Brazilian, Peruvian, British, and Dutch colonies all grew watermelons by 1650.
A few watermelons were introduced into the Pacific Islands by Captain James Cook.
Among the first fruits grown by black people, the Watermelon became a symbol of freedom.
The Watermelon’s scientific name is Cucurbita Citrullus. It was described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
In 1794, Carl Peter Thunberg gave the Watermelon its first Latin name, Momordica lanata.
Heinrich Adolf Schrader reclassified watermelon in 1836 into the genus Citrullus.
Cousins of the Watermelon
You’re probably wondering who Watermelon is related to before we look at varieties.
- Pumpkin and
Different Types of Watermelon
There are 200 to 300 different types of Watermelon, but only 50 of these are consumed by most people. The most beloved varieties are on the sweeter end of the scale.
They come in four main types: seeded, seedless, icebox, and yellow or orange.
A seeded watermelon is also known as a picnic watermelon.
A mini watermelon, in general, is referred to as an icebox watermelon. Sugar Baby and Tiger Baby varieties of Watermelon fall into this category.
A seedless watermelon is not an artificial hybrid watermelon – it is 100% organic!
Some of the seedless varieties include:
- Jack of Hearts
- King of Hearts
- Queen of Hearts
The vast majority of watermelons distributed in the United States are seedless.
Among the many watermelons with seed is the seeded variety with red flesh, called Crimson Sweet watermelons.
When the Golden Midget watermelons are ripe, the rinds of the fruit turn yellow.
The Carolina Cross watermelon holds the world record for heaviest fruit. Guinness World Records recognized the 350-pound Carolina Cross grown in 2013 as the world’s largest Watermelon.
Orangeglo watermelons have light green skin and orange flesh.
92 percent of a watermelon is water, but the rest is packed with nutrients. It’s packed with high-quality vitamins A, B6, and C, plus lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. There’s even a little bit of potassium.
There is little doubt that watermelons are one of the best foods to obtain antioxidant lycopene.
In addition to reducing the risk of stomach cancer, lycopene also reduces the risk of lung, prostate, and colon cancers.
Pests and Diseases
Fungus can cause problems
In climates where temperatures are high and rainfall is frequent, the disease can be prevalent. Humidity can make watermelon crops susceptible to viruses.
The disease starts off with small yellow-brown spots with a yellow or green halo; when it progresses, the spot expands and becomes a large necrotic patch; the spot eventually coalesces, the leaves curl, and ultimately die.
There are many pests that harm watermelons, including aphids and fruit flies.
Circular spots on watermelons can be caused by the “mosaic virus.”
Japan has some varieties that are susceptible to fusarium wilt. The leaves wilt and look grayish-green, turning yellow with disease. The vascular tissues turn a dull red color.
The rootstocks that are used for grafting watermelons have the ability to resist disease.
Every year there is “National Watermelon Day,” which is on August 3rd.
For over 40 years, Japanese farmers have grown cube-shaped watermelons in braces shaped like boxes.
Also, they’ve been growing watermelons in the shape of hearts and pyramids lately.
This vegetable is Oklahoma’s state veggie since 2007.
In the United States, Watermelon is the most eaten kind of melon.
What is the scientific name for watermelon?
The scientific name for watermelon is Citrullus lanatus. This fruit belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and is native to Africa. It is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.
Where did watermelons originate from?
Watermelons are believed to have originated in Africa, specifically in the Kalahari Desert. Evidence of watermelon cultivation dates back to ancient Egypt, where the fruit was depicted in hieroglyphics and buried with pharaohs. From there, watermelons spread throughout the Mediterranean and eventually made their way to the Americas with European colonizers.
What is the average weight of a watermelon?
The average weight of a watermelon varies depending on the type of watermelon and the growing conditions. Generally, a watermelon can weigh anywhere from 5 pounds to over 30 pounds. The heaviest watermelon on record weighed in at 350.5 pounds.
What are the different colors of watermelon flesh?
Watermelon flesh can come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, yellow, and orange. The color of the flesh is determined by the presence of pigments such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Different varieties of watermelon may have different colored flesh, with some even having white or green flesh.
What are the different shapes of watermelons?
Watermelons come in a variety of shapes, including round, oblong, and square. The shape of watermelon can depend on the variety and growing conditions, but it does not affect the taste or quality of the fruit.
What are the different varieties of watermelons?
Watermelons come in many varieties, including seeded, seedless, mini, yellow, and orange-fleshed. Each type has its own unique taste and texture, making them a popular summer fruit. Watermelons are also rich in nutrients like vitamins A and C and are a good source of hydration.
What are the nutritional benefits of watermelon?
Watermelon is a low-calorie fruit that is high in vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. It also contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help prevent cancer and heart disease. Additionally, watermelon is a good source of hydration due to its high water content.
How to choose a ripe watermelon?
Choosing a ripe watermelon involves several steps. First, look for a uniform shape and a dull, matte finish. Next, check for a yellow spot on the bottom, which indicates ripeness. Finally, tap the watermelon and listen for a deep, hollow sound.
How to store a watermelon?
Storing a watermelon is simple: keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If cut, wrap the remaining portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Avoid storing in the fridge for too long as it can affect the texture and taste.
How to cut a watermelon?
Cutting watermelon is simple. First, wash the watermelon and place it on a cutting board. Cut off the ends and slice the watermelon in half. Cut each half into quarters and then slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy!
How to cook with watermelon?
Cooking with watermelon is a unique and refreshing experience. One can grill watermelon slices, make watermelon salsa, or even use it as a base for a chilled soup. The possibilities are endless and experimenting with different recipes can lead to delicious and unexpected results.
What are some common watermelon recipes?
Watermelon can be used in a variety of recipes, including salads, smoothies, and desserts. A popular recipe is watermelon feta salad, which combines cubes of watermelon with feta cheese, mint, and a balsamic vinaigrette. Watermelon can also be blended into a refreshing summer drink or used as a base for sorbet or popsicles.
What are some fun facts about watermelons?
Watermelons are 92% water and originated in Africa. They were used to quench thirst and as a portable food source for travelers. The largest watermelon on record weighed over 350 pounds and watermelon seeds are edible and can be roasted or ground into flour.
Watermelon idioms and expressions include “to be as cool as a watermelon,” meaning to be calm and collected, and “to have a seed in one’s head,” meaning to have a crazy idea. Another is “to be in the watermelon business,” meaning to be in a profitable venture.
Watermelon-related songs and poems include “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock, “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles, and “The Watermelon” by Charles Simic. These works often use watermelon as a symbol of summer, sweetness, and nostalgia, and can evoke feelings of joy and relaxation.
There are several books and movies that feature watermelons, including “Watermelon Magic,” a children’s book about a girl’s love for growing watermelons, and “Watermelon Man,” a 1970 film about a white man who wakes up one day to find he has turned into a black man after eating a contaminated watermelon.
Watermelon festivals and events are held around the world, including the Watermelon Thump in Texas, USA, the Chinchilla Melon Festival in Queensland, Australia, and the Watermelon Festival in Murcia, Spain. These celebrations often include watermelon-themed activities, such as seed-spitting contests, watermelon carving competitions, and tastings of various watermelon dishes.
Watermelon-related products and services include watermelon juice, watermelon-flavored candy, watermelon-scented candles, watermelon-themed clothing and accessories, and even watermelon carving services for special events. Watermelon is also commonly used in skincare products for its hydrating and antioxidant properties.
Watermelon.org is a website run by the National Watermelon Promotion Board, which promotes the health benefits and versatility of watermelon. The International Watermelon Association is a non-profit organization that represents watermelon growers, shippers, and importers, and advocates for the industry’s interests.
Watermelon-related research topics could include investigating the health benefits of consuming watermelon, analyzing the genetic makeup of different watermelon varieties, exploring ways to increase watermelon crop yields, and examining the impact of climate change on watermelon production.
What are some challenges facing the watermelon industry?
The watermelon industry faces challenges such as disease outbreaks, weather patterns affecting crop yields, and competition from other fruits. Additionally, transportation and storage issues can impact the quality and availability of watermelons in certain regions.
What are some potential solutions to the challenges facing the watermelon industry?
To address the challenges facing the watermelon industry, potential solutions include implementing sustainable farming practices, developing new varieties that are resistant to diseases and pests, and improving transportation and storage methods to reduce waste. Additionally, increasing consumer education and demand for locally grown produce can help support the industry and promote its growth.
What is the future of the watermelon industry?
The future of the watermelon industry depends on various factors such as climate change, consumer demand, and technological advancements. With the increasing concern for sustainability and health, there may be a shift towards organic and locally sourced watermelons. Additionally, new technologies such as precision agriculture and genetic modification may play a role in improving crop yields and disease resistance.
How much does a watermelon weigh?
A watermelon’s weight can vary depending on its size and type. On average, a small watermelon weighs around 5-10 pounds, while a larger one can weigh up to 30-50 pounds. Some varieties, like the Carolina Cross, can even reach weights of over 100 pounds.
How do you choose a ripe watermelon?
Choosing a ripe watermelon involves a few simple steps. First, look for a uniform shape and smooth skin. Next, check for a yellow spot on the bottom, which indicates ripeness. Finally, give it a tap and listen for a hollow sound.
How do you store a watermelon?
To store a watermelon, one should keep it in a cool and dry place, ideally at a temperature of around 50-60°F. It is important to avoid exposing the watermelon to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause it to spoil quickly.
How do you cut a watermelon?
To cut a watermelon, first, wash it thoroughly and place it on a cutting board. Cut off both ends and then slice the watermelon in half. Cut each half into quarters and then slice each quarter into smaller pieces. Remove any seeds as you go. Enjoy!
How do you cook with watermelon?
Cooking with watermelon is not a common practice, as it is mostly consumed raw or in salads. However, some recipes use watermelon as a main ingredient, such as watermelon gazpacho, watermelon sorbet, or grilled watermelon with feta cheese. These recipes can be found online or in cookbooks.