The Watermelon is a hard skinned Berry known as a pepo. Botanically recognised as Citrullus lanatus, it is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also included Pumpkins, Zucchini and Gourds. Though officially a berry, watermelon is rarely recognised as such in the general community.

Watermelon produces both male and female flowers on each plant and requires pollination from bees or other insects.

Southern Africa is the most likely origin of the Watermelon where it was thought to have grown wild.

Watermelon varieties can range in size from around the size of a large orange through to 200 pounds or more. As the name suggests the majority of a watermelon is made up of water.

Nutritionally, watermelon is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. It contains a spectrum of B group vitamins, though not at exceptionally high amounts. Watermelon makes a good juice and carrier for mixing supplements or blending with other fruit juices. It contains several minerals including Potassium, which may play a heart in maintaining healthy heart function and maintaining proper blood pressure levels. It also contains Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, phosphorous and zinc.

Some interesting uses and facts about watermelon:

- The rind of the watermelon is edible and can be boiled, stir-fried or pickled. The rind is more often used as a vegetable and the red fleshy centre is used for fruit salad, juicing or just enjoying on its own.

- The rind of the watermelon is often used as a serving bowl at parties or barbeques. A whole watermelon is cut in half and red flesh is removed. Watermelon baskets can also be made by cutting the watermelon to include a handle like strap through the middle. This is of course only for display purposes, so should not be used as a carry handle.

- Watermelon is typically red in the centre but there are yellow, orange and white cultivars available

- There are people who put watermelons in square boxes as they grow, creating a square watermelon. I thought this was a joke when I first read about it but it is true. I fail to see the purpose of doing it commercially but it is an interesting experiment worth trying at home.

- Watermelon is approximately 92% water.

- Watermelon use in America dates back to the 17th Century.

- For proper pollination it is recommend 1 beehive be kept for each acre of watermelons planted.

Watermelon has been used throughout history for its sweet tasting flesh and for the bowls and carrying vessels made from the rind. It is a nutritious food and drink that has many places in a Healthy Eating diet.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites... for Organic Health related products and information on living an Organic Lifestyle. for general health information and articles on living a Healthy Lifestyle.

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