Citrullus Lanatus is the Latin word for watermelon, a climber and trailer herb originally from South Africa. The fruit of such plants are known by the botanists as ”pepo” , with a thick rind and a flashy center. The interior flash varies its colors from yellow to orange and red, and the exterior rind is usually green and smooth. It tastes sweet and the interior flesh is the only edible part of the fruit. Evidences of planting watermelons date from the year 2000 BC in the Nile Valley. The inconvenient of eating watermelons is trying to get read of their seeds. There are some seedless varieties where the number of seeds is substantially decreased.
Watermelons are great sources of vitamins. Cooked, baked, fried, stewed, even pickled they contain large amounts of vitamin C, A, B, potassium, magnesium, citrulline, lycopene; therefore, they are used in treating urea cycle disorders asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
There are 5 varieties of watermelons, popular around the world:
- Yellow watermelon: it is sweeter and more honey flavored than the common red flashed watermelon;
- Orangeglo: has a very sweet orange pulp, and the rind is jagged by dark green stripes;
- Moon and stars: the rind is purple or black, the many small yellow circles are the “stars” and the two large yellow circles the “moon”. The flesh is pink or red and has brown seeds.
- Cream of Saskatchewan: small, round fruits with a thin light green rind and a white flesh. The seeds are black. Not like the other varieties, this one can grow relly good in cold climate areas (Russia, Canada)
- Melitopolski: an early ripened variety originated from Volga River, Russia.
Watermelons are depicted very often in the mexican art and especially related to the holiday “Las dias de los muertos”. They are said to bring good luck in the New Year’s Holiday in Vietnam. They are very popular in Southern America, where the annual watermelon seed-spitting contests of Georgia takes place.