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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucumis
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 and the Caucasus, with a secondary center including northwest India and Afghanistan.


Genomic information
NCBI genome ID10697
Genome size374.77 Mb
Number of chromosomes12
Year of completion2012

Muskmelons are monoecious plants. They do not cross with watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, or squash, but varieties within the species intercross frequently.[2] The genome of Cucumis melo was first sequenced in 2012.[3] Some authors treat C. melo as having two subspecies, C. melo agrestis and C. melo melo. Variants within these subspecies fall into groups whose genetics largely agree with their phenotypic traits, such as disease resistance, rind texture, flesh color, and fruit shape. Variants or landraces (some of which were originally classified as species; see the synonyms list to the right) include C. melo var. acidulus, adana, agrestis, ameri, cantalupensis, chandalak, chate, chinensis, chito, conomon, dudaim, flexuosus, inodorus, makuwa, momordica, reticulatus and tibish.


Per 100 gram serving, cantaloupe melons provide 34 calories and are a rich source (20% or more the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin A (68% DV) and vitamin C (61% DV), with other nutrients at a negligible level.[4] Melons are 90% water and 9% carbohydrates, with less than 1% each of protein and fat.[4]


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.[5] The Japanese liqueur, Midori, is flavored with muskmelon.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 23 January 2016
  2. ^ Martin Anderson, Texas AgriLife Extension Service. "Muskmelons Originated in Persia - Archives - Aggie Horticulture".
  3. ^ Jordi Garcia-Mas (2012). "The genome of melon (Cucumis melo L.)". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (29): 11872–11877. doi:10.1073/pnas.1205415109. PMC 3406823.
  4. ^ a b "Nutrition Facts for 100 g of melons, cantaloupe, raw [includes USDA commodity food A415]". Conde Nast for the USDA National Nutrient Database, version SR-21. 2014.
  5. ^ 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.

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