melon

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melon,

fruit of Cucumis melo, a plant of the family Curcurbitaceae (gourdgourd
, common name for some members of the Cucurbitaceae, a family of plants whose range includes all tropical and subtropical areas and extends into the temperate zones.
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 family) native to Asia and now cultivated extensively in warm regions. There are many varieties, differing in taste, color, and skin texture—e.g., Persian, honeydew, casaba, muskmelon, and cantaloupe. The true cantaloupe (var. cantalupensis), introduced to Cantalupo, Italy, from Armenia, is a hard-shelled or rock melon. It is little grown outside the Mediterranean countries; the cantaloupes of the United States are varieties of the muskmelon. Melon is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Violales, family Curcurbitaceae.

Melon

 

an annual herbaceous plant of the genus Cucumis of the family Cucurbitaceae. It has a rounded, angled stem, large leaves with long petioles, and tendrils in the axils. Its flowers are diclinous and sometimes bisexual. Melons are insect pollinated. The fruit is a many-seeded pepo, varying in form and weighing from 200 g to 16 kg, depending on the variety.

The melon originated in Middle Asia and Asia Minor. Several species are known, ranging from one to 15 species in different classifications. Most widely cultivated is the musk-melon (C. melo). It is heat-loving: growth and development usually occur when the air temperature is between 25° and 30°C; development decreases when the temperature goes down to 15°C, and the plant dies if temperatures are between 3° and 5°C. Drought resistant, melons are cultivated in the USA, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Asia Minor, Japan, the Balkans, Spain, Italy, and France. In the USSR melons are grown in the republics of Middle Asia and in the Volga Region, Moldavia, the Ukraine, and Transcaucasia. The fruit of the muskmelon is a valuable food and dietetic product containing sugar (16-18 percent and more), vitamin C (up to 60 mg percent), carotene, pectins, and minerals. It is eaten fresh and in cured and dried form and also used for making jams, candied fruits, marmalade, fruit paste, and bekmes (melon honey). The yields on irrigated lands (Middle Asia) are 300-400 centners per hectare and more; without irrigation (in the Volga Region and the Ukraine), up to 200 centners per hectare.

The varieties of the muskmelon are divided into groups: meloadanas, melokhandaliaks, meloameris, cantaloupes, casabas, and melozards. Muskmelons grown in Middle Asian republics and in Kazakhstan include early varieties, such as local Yellow Khandaliak, Bos Val’dy, Bukharka 944, and Zaami 672; summer varieties, such as Arbakeshka 1219, Ameri 696, and Kokcha 588; fall varieties, such as Orange Guliabi, Karapuchak 3744, and Koi-bash 476; and winter varieties, such as Green Guliabi, Guliabi-kara 694, and Guliabi-sary 497. In the European part of the USSR the most common muskmelons include early varieties, such as Lemon-yellow and Novelty of the Kuban’, midseason and midseason-late ripening varieties, such as Kolkhoznitsa 749/753, Kolkhoznitsa 593, Bykovskaia 735, and Ukrainka; and late and moderately late ripening varieties, such as Zimovka with apple-like seeds. In Transcaucasia mainly local varieties are cultivated including local Salvar and local Megruli of the early ripening ones and local Sneivaz and Masis 2 of those that ripen in midseason.

Melons are grown on dark sandy loams and light loams in the arid territory of the Lower Volga Region, on light or medium loams and sandy chernozem soils in the Northern Caucasus and in the Ukrainian steppes, and on sandy fertilized soils in regions of Middle Asia. Before planting, the seeds are warmed in the sun for six or seven days or artificially at temperatures of 50°-60°C for four to six hours. The square-cluster or row method of sowing is used, with spacing of 3-4 sq m without irrigation and 2-3 sq m with irrigation. The seeds are planted when the soil reaches temperatures of 12°-14°C. In northern regions of melon cultivation, seedlings are used. The seedlings are grown in peat pots in hothouses. After the last spring frosts they are transplanted in open ground. The plantings are thinned once or twice and cultivated between the rows as many as three times. Fertilizer is applied once or twice, primarily using phosphorous types. The vines are dusted and straightened to prevent twisting by the wind, and on irrigated melon fields the furrows are cultivated after every watering. The melons are picked selectively as they mature. Late maturing varieties are picked green and allowed to ripen in storage.

REFERENCES

Dudko, P. N. Sortovoe bogatstvo dyn’ Uzbekistana. Tashkent, 1956.
Pangalo, K. T. Dyni. Kishinev, 1958.
Iurina, O. V. Selektsiia i semenovodstvo tykvennykh kul’tur. Moscow, 1966.

V. F. BELIK

melon

[′mel·ən]
(botany)
Either of two soft-fleshed edible fruits, muskmelon or watermelon, or varieties of these.
(vertebrate zoology)
Around mass of fat on the forehead of some cetaceans between the blowhole and nose

melon

1. any of several varieties of two cucurbitaceous vines (see muskmelon, watermelon), cultivated for their edible fruit
2. the fruit of any of these plants, which has a hard rind and juicy flesh
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