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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucumis
Species: C. melo
Binomial name
Cucumis melo

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) is a species of melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. These include smooth-skinned varieties such as honeydew, Crenshaw, and casaba, and different netted cultivars (cantaloupe, Persian melon, and Santa Claus or Christmas melon). The Armenian cucumber is also a variety of muskmelon, but its shape, taste, and culinary uses more closely resemble those of a cucumber. The large number of cultivars in this species approaches that found in wild cabbage, though morphological variation is not as extensive. It is a fruit of a type called pepo.

Muskmelon is native to Iran, Anatolia, Armenia, and adjacent areas on the west and the east which is believed to be their center of origin and development, with a secondary center including the northwest provinces of India and Afghanistan. Although truly wild forms of C. melo have not been found, several related wild species have been noted in those regions.


Genomic information
NCBI genome ID 10697
Ploidy diploid
Genome size 374.77 Mb
Number of chromosomes 12
Year of completion 2012

Muskmelons are monoecious plants. They do not cross with watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, or squash, but varieties within the species intercross frequently.[1] The genome of Cucumis melo L. was first sequenced in 2012.[2]


Cantaloupe melons are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and a good source of potassium.[3]


In addition to their consumption when fresh, melons are sometimes dried. Other varieties are cooked, or grown for their seeds, which are processed to produce melon oil. Still other varieties are grown only for their pleasant fragrance.[4] The Japanese liqueur Midori is flavored with muskmelon.


See also[edit]



  1. ^ Martin Anderson, Texas AgriLife Extension Service. "Muskmelons Originated in Persia - Archives - Aggie Horticulture". 
  2. ^ Jordi Garcia-Mas. "The genome of melon (Cucumis melo L.)". 
  3. ^ "Nutrition Facts". 
  4. ^ National Research Council (2008-01-25). "Melon". Lost Crops of Africa: Volume III: Fruits. Lost Crops of Africa 3. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-10596-5. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 


  • Desai, B.B. (2004). Seeds Handbook: Biology, Production, Processing, and Storage, Vol. 103. CRC Press. ISBN 082474800X.
  • Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 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.).

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