"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 endocarp); 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. " -WikipediaNo other fruit says summer like the subtly crunchy, thirst quenching watermelon. Although watermelons can now be found in the markets throughout the year, the season for watermelon is in the summer when they are sweet and of the best quality.
When I was around 14 years old, Daddy planted five acres of crimson sweet watermelons, if memory serves me correct on the acreage. Crimson sweet are the dark green round ones with lighter green stripes. This variety, in my opinion, is the sweetest of watermelons although I've had others that were sweet. Crimson sweet are guaranteed to be sweet when ripe.
My younger sister, Shena (who was 11) and I would make a stack in the front yard using hay for the underbelly and sell watermelons for extra summer allowance. She and I ate a great deal of the profits. I recall slicing several open for display and the two of us eating the display. We would have seed spitting contests. Our cousins and next-door neighbours; Brenda, Glenda and Vaughn would join us in these contests. We'd also keep some chilled for those wanting to eat it straightway.
As a member of the Cucurbitaceous family, the watermelon is related to the cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin, other plants that also grow on vines on the ground. Watermelons can be round, oblong or spherical in shape and feature thick green rinds that are often spotted or striped. They range in size from a few pounds to upward of ninety pounds.
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