Cucumis laevigatus Chiov.
Cucumis maculatus Willd.
Cucumis microcarpus (Alef.) Pangalo
Cucumis microspermus Nakai
Cucumis moschatus Gray
Cucumis odoratissimus Moench
Cucumis odoratissimus W.M.Carp. & Riddell
Cucumis officinarum-melo Crantz
Cucumis orientalis Kudr.
Cucumis pancherianus Naudin
Cucumis pedatifidus Schrad.
Cucumis persicodorus Seitz
Cucumis persicus (Sarg.) M.Roem.
Cucumis pictus Jacq.
Cucumis princeps Wender.
Cucumis pseudocolocynthis Royle
Cucumis pubescens Willd.
Cucumis pyriformis Roxb. ex Wight & Arn.
Cucumis reflexus Zeyh. ex Ser.
Cucumis reginae Schrad.
Cucumis schraderianus M.Roem.
Cucumis serotinus Haberle ex Seitz
Cucumis turbinatus Roxb.
Cucumis umbilicatus Salisb.
Cucumis utilissimus Roxb.
Cucumis villosus Boiss. & Noë
Cucurbita aspera Sol. ex G.Forst.
Ecballium lambertianum M.Roem.
Melo adana (Pangalo) Pangalo
Melo adzhur Pangalo
Melo × ambiguua Pangalo
Melo ameri Pangalo
Melo cassaba Pangalo
Melo chandalak Pangalo
Melo chate Sageret ex M.Roem.
Melo chinensis Pangalo
Melo figari Pangalo
Melo microcarpus (Alef.) Pangalo
Melo monoclinus Pangalo
Melo orientalis (Kudr.) Nabiev
Melo persicus Sageret
Melo sativus Sageret
Melo vulgaris Moench ex Cogn.
Melo zard Pangalo
Cucumis trigonus Roxb.
Cucumis acidus Jacq.
Cucumis alba Nakai
Cucumis ambiguus Fenzl ex Hook.f.
Cucumis aromaticus Royle
Cucumis bardanus Fenzl ex Naudin
Cucumis bisexualis A.M.Lu & G.C.Wang
Cucumis callosus (Rottler) Cogn.
Cucumis campechianus Kunth
Cucumis chate Hasselq.
Cucumis chate L.
Cucumis chinensis (Pangalo) Pangalo
Cucumis cicatrisatus Stocks
Cucumis cognata Fenzl ex Hook.f.
Cucumis cubensis Schrad.
Cucumis deliciosus Salisb.
Cucumis eriocarpus Boiss. & Noë
Cucumis erivanicus Steud. [Invalid]
Cucumis jamaicensis Bertero ex Spreng.
Cucumis jucunda F.Muell.
Common Name: Melon
Cucumis melo is a climbing annual plant, producing stems around 1.5 metres long that sprawl along the ground or into other plants where they attach themselves by means of tendrils.
The plant is widely cultivated for its edible fruit, in both gardens and commercially, from the warm temperate zone to tropical areas.
The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[
Probably native of Asia, though it has been in cultivation for so long its native habitat is obscure
Not known in a truly wild situation, though sometimes found as a weed of cultivated fields[
], probably as an escape from gardens.
Melons are cultivated from the warm temperate zone through to the tropics, where they can be grown at elevations up to 1,000 metres. They grow best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 30°c, but can tolerate 9 - 35°c[
]. They are killed by frost[
]. They prefer a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 1,300mm, but tolerate 900 - 2,500mm[
]. They grow best in areas without too much rainfall or too high a humidity, since these conditions reduce fertilization and lead to diseases of the leaves[
Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm, very sunny position[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5, tolerating 5 - 8.7[
It takes 3 - 4 months to produce a crop from seed[
Individual plants are usually allowed to bear about four melons, and a crop of melons should yield about 5 - 30 tonnes/ha, with an average about 11 - 13 tonnes/ha[
This is a very variable species that has long been cultivated for its edible fruit. As a result, a number of distinct forms have arisen and there are many named varieties within each of these forms[
]. These forms have been classified by botanists into groups as detailed below. Each of these groups has been given a separate entry in the database.
Cucumis melo agrestis. A wild form of the melon. It is not usually grown for its fruit but is of potential value in breeding programmes.
Cucumis melo cantalupensis. The cantaloupe or netted melons.
Cucumis melo chito. The orange melon. This form occasionally escapes from cultivation and is naturalized in some tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Cucumis melo conomon. The pickling or sweet melon. This form is also of value in breeding programmes for disease resistance.
Cucumis melo dudaim. The pocket melon.
Cucumis melo flexuosus. The serpent melon.
Cucumis melo inodorus. The honeydew melon.
Cucumis melo momordica. The snap melon. This form is also of value in breeding programmes for pest and disease resistance.
Fruit - raw[
]. Very watery but with a delicate flavour, it is very refreshing. Rich in vitamins B and C[
]. The flesh of the fruit can be dried, ground into a powder and used with cereals when making bread, biscuits etc[
]. The size of the fruit varies widely between cultivars but is up to 10cm long and 7cm wide[
Seed - raw[
]. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[
]. The seed contains between 12.5 - 39.1% oil[
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[
The fruits can be used as a cooling light cleanser or moisturiser for the skin[
]. They are also used as a first aid treatment for burns and abrasions[
The flowers are expectorant and emetic[
The fruit is stomachic[
The seed is antitussive, digestive, febrifuge and vermifuge[
]. When used as a vermifuge, the whole seed complete with the seed coat is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body[
The root is diuretic and emetic[
The leaves are used to treat scrotal hernias[
Grows well with corn and sunflowers but dislikes potatoes[
]. The weeds fat hen and sow thistle improve the growth and cropping of melons[
The seed oil is used as a humectant and skin conditioner in commercial cosmetic preparations[
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.