Water Melon (Citrullus lanatus)

General info about Fruit

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus, Family Cucurbitaceae) is both a fruit and a vegetable and plant of a vine-like (climber and trailer) herb originally from southern Africa and one of the most common type of melon. This flowering plant produces a special type of fruit known by botanists as a pepo, which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and exocarp); pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green and yellow) and a juicy, sweet, usually red or yellow, but sometimes orange, interior flesh. The flesh consists of highly developed placental tissue within the fruit. The former name Citrullus vulgaris (vulgaris meaning “common” — Shosteck, 1974), is now a synonym of the accepted scientific name for watermelon, Citrullus lanatus.

Ways to prepare and serve the Fruit

Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves; Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil; Pectin.
Fruit - raw. A very refreshing fruit, it has a delicate sweetness with an extremely high water content, the fruit is often used as a refreshing drink. The unripe fruits are added to soups. A syrup can also be made from the juice. The fruit is a rich source of pectin, and can be added to pectin-low fruits when making jam. Pectin is said to protect the body against radiation. The fruit varies considerably in size from cultivar to cultivar, but can be up to 1 metre long and 40cm wide. A nutritional analysis is available. Leaves - cooked. Seed - raw or cooked. They can be roasted or ground into a powder and used with cereal flours when making bread, cakes etc, or added to soups and stews. The seed contains about 30% protein, 20 - 40% oil. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Health Benefits and Warnings of eating Fruit

Medicinal Uses
Cardiac; Demulcent; Diuretic; Enuresis; Febrifuge; Pectoral; Purgative; Tonic; Vermifuge.
The seed is demulcent, diuretic, pectoral and tonic. It is sometimes used in the treatment of the urinary passages and has been used to treat bed wetting. The seed is also a good vermifuge and has a hypotensive action. A fatty oil in the seed, as well as aqueous or alcoholic extracts, paralyze tapeworms and roundworms. The fruit, eaten when fully ripe or even when almost putrid, is used as a febrifuge The fruit is also diuretic, being effective in the treatment of dropsy and renal stones. The fruit contains the substance lycopine (which is also found in the skins of tomatoes). This substance has been shown to protect the body from heart attacks and, in the case of the tomato at least, is more effective when it is cooked. The rind of the fruit is prescribed in cases of alcoholic poisoning and diabetes. The root is purgative and in large dose is said to be a certain emetic.
Other Uses
The seed contains 20 - 40% oil. As well as being edible, it is also used for making soap and for lighting. Face masks made from the fruit are used as a cosmetic on delicate skins.


• Orangeglo: This variety has a very sweet orange pulp, and is a large oblong fruit weighing 20-30 pounds (9-14 kg). It has a light green rind with jagged dark green stripes. It takes about 90-100 days from planting to harvest.
• Moon and Stars: This is a very famous variety and has been around since at least the 1930s. The rind is purple/black and has many small yellow circles (stars) and one or maybe two large yellow circles (moon). The flesh is pink or red and has brown seeds. The foliage is also spotted. The time from planting to harvest is about 90 days.
• Cream of Saskatchewan: This variety consists of small round fruits, around 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. It has a quite thin, light green with dark green striped rind, with sweet white flesh and black seeds. It can grow well in cool climates. It was originally brought to Saskatchewan, Canada by Russian immigrants. These melons take 80-85 days from planting to harvest.
• Melitopolski: This variety has small round fruits roughly 11-12 inches (28-30 cm) in diameter. It is an early ripening variety that originated from the Volga River region of Russia, which is an area that has been famous for melon-growing for a long time. The Melitopolski watermelons are seen piled high by vendors in Moscow in summer. This variety takes around 95 days from planting to harvest.

Recipes made mainly with this Fruit

Fresh watermelon may be eaten in a variety of ways and is also often used to flavor summer drinks and smoothies.
A one-cup serving of watermelon will provide around 48 calories. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, with one serving containing 14.59 mg of vitamin C and 556.32 IU of vitamin A. Watermelon also provides significant amounts of vitamin B6 and vitamin B1, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium. Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene.
Grilled watermelon, known as watermelon steak due to its visual similarity to raw steak, is beginning to become a popular item in restaurants.
Watermelon rinds are also edible, and sometimes used as a vegetable. In China, they are stir-fried, stewed, or more often pickled. When stir-fried, the de-skinned and de-fruited rind is cooked with olive oil, garlic, chili peppers, scallions, sugar and rum (and provides a great way to utilize the whole watermelon). Pickled watermelon rind is also widespread in Russia and Romania.[citation needed]
Watermelon seeds are rich in fat and protein, and are widely eaten as a snack, added to other dishes, or used as an oilseed. Specialized varieties are grown which have little watery flesh but concentrate their energy into seed production. In China watermelon seeds are one of the most common snack foods, popular especially with women, competing with sunflower seeds, and sold roasted and seasoned. In West Africa, they are pressed for oil, and are popular in egusi soup and other dishes. There can be some confusion between seed-specialized watermelon varieties and the colocynth, a closely-related species with which they share many characteristics, uses, and similar or identical names.
Watermelon is 92 percent water by weight, the highest percentage of any fruit. In the United States and South Africa, one may also find an alcoholic novelty known as a hard watermelon, or a watermelon that has been enhanced with an alcoholic beverage. This process involves boring a hole into the watermelon, then pouring the liquor inside and allowing it to mix with the flesh of the fruit. The watermelon is then cut and served as normal.



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