AskDefine | Define muskmelon

Dictionary Definition



1 any of several varieties of vine whose fruit has a netted rind and edible flesh and a musky smell [syn: sweet melon, sweet melon vine, Cucumis melo]
2 the fruit of a muskmelon vine; any of several sweet melons related to cucumbers [syn: sweet melon]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A type of melon, Cucumis melo reticulatus, with sweet orange flesh and a rough skin resembling netting. Also known as cantaloupe.

Extensive Definition

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) is a species of melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. These include smooth skinned varietes, such as honeydew, and different netted cultivars known as cantaloupes (some of which, confusingly, may be particularly identified as "muskmelon"). The large number of cultivars in this species approaches that found in wild cabbage, though morphological variation is not as extensive. It is an accessory fruit of a type that botanists call a false berry. Muskmelon is native to northwestern India from where it spread to China and Europe.. The varied cultivars produced have been divided into multiple cultivar groups.


  • Cantalupensis group includes the European "cantaloupe" with skin that is rough and warty, not netted. This melon is not cultivated in North America. It is grown in South Africa, where it is called the spanspek. Listed sometimes as Cucumis melo cantalupensis.
  • Chito group is the "garden melon"'. Also known as the "chate" of Egypt, "mango melon", "lemon melon", "orange melon", "apple melon", or "vine peach". Referred to sometimes as Cucumis melo melo chito.
  • Conomon group is the "Oriental pickling melon";photos it is also known as the "Sweet melon", "Chekiang melon", or "Chinese white cucumber".
  • Dudaim group is the "apple melon" (although see Chito group above); it is also known as the "fragrant melon", "pocket melon", "Queen Anne's pocket melon", "vine pomegranate", "plum granny", and "dudaim melon". Listed sometimes within Cucumis melo melo var. chito.
  • Flexuosus group is the "Azerbaijanian cucumber"; also known as the "snake melon", "serpent cucumber", "snake cucumber", "serpent melon", or "Oriental cucumber".
  • Inodorus group includes "honeydew melon" (aka "honeydew"), "crenshaw melon", "casaba melon" (aka "casaba"), Hami melon, Piel de Sapo, "winter melon", "American melon", "fragrant melon", or "Oriental sweet melon". These have smooth rinds and do not have a musky odor. It is the third most popular type of melon, after the watermelon and cantaloupe. Honeydew has a smooth, white rind and sweet green flesh. When eaten, the texture is similar to a reticulated cantaloupe, but the flavor more subtle and sweeter. Classified sometimes as Cucumis melo inodorus.
  • Makuwa Group is the "Japanese cantaloupe"; it is eaten in Japanese and Korean cuisine and is called chamoe in Koreanphoto
  • Reticulatus Group includes the "netted melon", "winter melon", and ""North American" cantaloupe". Other common names are the "nutmeg melon" and "Persian melon". "Muskmelon" is also sometimes used to refer to this type in particular. These are the most popular melons cultivated in commerce. They are classified as Cucumis melo melo var. cantalupensis by some authors. This group includes the recently rediscovered Montreal melon.
The culture of honeydew and muskmelon ideally requires a good deal of readily available water for irrigation, and hot, humid summers. These melons are susceptible to fungal infections by fusarium and verticillium wilts, as well as a bacterial wilt transmitted by the cucumber beetle. The vines may be attacked by moths in the family Sesiidae, such as the "squash vine borer" (Melittia cucurbitae).
Various kinds of melon seeds are edible, and are sold as snacks in shops, by names as kwaci and kwatji. For this purpose, they are dried and often salted. The names come from Chinese 瓜子 guāzi; they are a very common snack food in China.


Cantaloupe melons are a good source of potassium, Vitamin A and folate . The potassium is helpful in preventing kidney stones and cantaloupes in general are a useful laxative. North American cantaloupes are the most beta-carotene-rich of all melons and are also high in Vitamin C.


ão - Melon (Cucumis melo L)

External links



  • Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 706 pp. ISBN 0-521-34060-8.
  • Magness, J.R., G.M. Markle, C.C. Compton. 1971. Food and feed crops of the United States. Interregional Research Project IR-4, IR Bul. 1 (Bul. 828 New Jersey Agr. Expt. Sta.).
  • Desai, B.B. (2004). Seeds Handbook: Biology, Production, Processing, and Storage, Vol. 103. CRC Press. ISBN 082474800X.
muskmelon in Guarani: Merõ
muskmelon in Indonesian: Melon
muskmelon in Min Nan: Me-lóng
muskmelon in Catalan: Melonera
muskmelon in Danish: Melon
muskmelon in German: Zuckermelone
muskmelon in Modern Greek (1453-): Πεπόνι
muskmelon in Spanish: Cucumis melo
muskmelon in French: Melon (plante)
muskmelon in Galician: Melón (froita)
muskmelon in Korean: 멜론
muskmelon in Upper Sorbian: Dynja
muskmelon in Italian: Cucumis melo
muskmelon in Hebrew: מלון (פרי)
muskmelon in Kazakh: Қауын
muskmelon in Haitian: Melon frans
muskmelon in Lithuanian: Sėjamasis melionas
muskmelon in Hungarian: Sárgadinnye
muskmelon in Dutch: Meloen
muskmelon in Japanese: メロン
muskmelon in Norwegian: Melon
muskmelon in Polish: Melon
muskmelon in Portuguese: Melão
muskmelon in Quechua: Unukhachun
muskmelon in Russian: Дыня
muskmelon in Simple English: Melon
muskmelon in Finnish: Meloni
muskmelon in Swedish: Melon
muskmelon in Turkish: Kavun
muskmelon in Ukrainian: Диня
muskmelon in Urdu: خربزہ
muskmelon in Chinese: 厚皮甜瓜
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