Watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris; Family Cucurbitaceae) is the fruit and plant of a vine-like (climber and trailer) herb originally from southern Africa. David Livingstone, the African explorer, described watermelon as abundant in the Kalahari Desert and the species descriptor, vulgaris, means "common" (Shosteck, 1974). This flowering plant bears an accessory fruit of a type that botanists call a false berry. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the Genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind and a moist, sweet, usually red interior flesh.Agricultural aspects















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Until the 1940s, the watermelon was rarely found in a grocery. Melon lovers had to grow their own, which tended not to keep for long. Then a USDA plant breeder set out to produce a better watermelon. The result was "that gray melon from Charleston," formally called the Charleston Gray. Its oblong shape and hard rind made it easy to stack and ship. Its adaptability meant it could be grown over a wide geographical area. It produced high yields and was resistant to the most serious watermelon diseases: anthracnose and fusarium wilt. Best of all, it tasted terrific. Today, almost all commercial watermelon varieties have some Charleston Gray in their lineage.

Above Images Come From The USDA











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