Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Melon ( Cucumis melo), a member of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceaj), probably native to India and cultivated in Asia and in Egypt from very early times. The melon is generally annual, and has tendrils, variable palmately-lobed leaves, monejecious flowers, and deeply five-lobed bell-shaped corollas. Having so long been cultivated, its fruit is extremely variable. It may be globular, oblate, ovoid, or even serpent-like, smooth, netted, ribbed, or warty, green or yellow externally, and white, green, salmon or red in the "flesh," and from one to twelve or more inches in diameter. Cabul, Bokhara, and Ispahan are specially celebrated for their melons, many of the "races" in cultivation having originated in Persia. Columbus introduced melons into America, where they flourish, as they do also in Australia. True melons were formerly termed musk melons to distinguish them from water melons (Citrullus vulgaris), native to tropical Africa, cultivated in ancient Egypt and now in most hot countries. A large number of melons and water-melons are imported into England from Malaga and Lisbon.