Scientific name: Cucumis melo L.

English names: Melon, Musk Melon, Cantaloupe

Local names: Bangi, Futi

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1981)

Species: C. melo


Botanical Description of Melon

A robust, annual, climbing herb. Stem prostrate, elongate, hirsute, angular, ultimately somewhat terete and glabrous. Tendrils filiform, puberulous. Leaves suborbicular, 8-15 cm long and as much as broad, 5-angled or moderately 3-7 lobed, lobes obtuse, denticulate, base cordate, villose or sub-hirsute, petioles slender, robust, hispid, equal or longer than lamina. Male flowers: peduncles slender, 0.5-3.5 cm long, calyx tube narrow, campanulate, villose, 4-8 mm long, lobes subulate, erect or spreading, corolla yellow, c 2 cm long, lobes ovate-oblong to broadly ovate or obovate, obtuse, stamens 3, filaments very short, anthers 3-4 mm long, appendages of the connective shorter than the anthers, pistillode c 1 mm long. Female flower solitary, peduncles 1-2 cm long, ovary ellipsoid or fusiform, softly hairy, 4-11 x 2-5 mm, style 1-2 mm long, stigmas 3, c 2 mm long. Fruits very variable in size, shape, colour, odour and taste, young fruits not tuberculaie. Seeds 6-10 x 3-6 mm, oblong, white.


Economic Importance: The fruits are edible and are consumed for the juicy and sweet ­tasting flesh in summer. The pulp is also mixed with water and sugar and served as a refreshing drink. The seeds and pulp are considered diuretic and useful in chronic eczema.