Cultivar Types

Watermelon Crop Information

  • by Todd C. Wehner
  • Department of Horticultural Science
  • North Carolina State University
  • Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Citron. The preserving melon is C. lanatus var. citroides. Its rind is used to make pickles, and the fruit are fed to livestock. The flesh of the citron is white or green, and may vary from bland to bitter tasting. Citron grows wild in the United States where it causes problems as a weed in crop production areas of the south, especially in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Watermelon seed production fields should be isolated from weedy areas of citron since plants of these two botanical varieties cross readily.

Egusi. Egusi melon from Africa is Citrullus lanatus. Egusi is a confectionery type, used for its edible seeds, which are roasted and eaten directly, or ground into flour. The seeds are also used in oil production, with the residue made into protein balls.

Standard. The standard type is Citrullus lanatus. Standard varieties are available in many fruit sizes, shapes, and rind patterns (Table 3.1, Fig. 3.2). Fruit size of the edible flesh type can be ice box, small, medium, large, or giant. Fruit size is inherited in polygenic fashion. Fruit shape can be round/oval or blocky/elongate. Rind pattern can be solid dark green, solid medium green, solid light green, gray (speckled light green), wide stripe, medium stripe, or narrow stripe. The stripes can be over a light or medium green background. For example, ‘Dixielee’ has narrow stripes on a light green background, whereas ‘Florida Favorite’ has narrow stripes on a medium green background.