|Watermelon cross section|
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a flowering plant species of the Cucurbitaceae family and the name of its edible fruit. A scrambling and trailing vine-like plant, it was originally domesticated in Africa. It is a highly cultivated fruit worldwide, with more than 1,000 varieties.
Watermelon is grown in favorable climates from tropical to temperate regions worldwide for its large edible fruit, which is a berry with a hard rind and no internal divisions, and is botanically called a pepo. The sweet, juicy flesh is usually deep red to pink, with many black seeds, although seedless varieties exist. The fruit can be eaten raw or pickled, and the rind is edible after cooking. It may also be consumed as a juice or as an ingredient in mixed beverages.
Considerable breeding effort has developed disease-resistant varieties. Many cultivars are available that produce mature fruit within 100 days of planting. In 2017, China produced about two-thirds of the world total of watermelons.
From the 1610s, a compound of water + melon.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɔːtəˌmɛlən/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈwɔtəɹˌmɛlən/
watermelon (countable and uncountable, plural watermelons)
- A plant of the species Citrullus lanatus, bearing a melon-like fruit.
- The fruit of the watermelon plant, having a green rind and watery flesh that is typically bright red when ripe and contains black pips.
- (derogatory, slang) An environmentalist with socialist leanings (from the similarity to the fruit, being green on the outside, and red (Communist) on the inside).
- A pinkish-red colour