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Cucumis melo L.

Family Name: Cucurbitaceae
Synonyms: Cucumis acidus
Common Name: Melon, Muskmelon, 甜瓜
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Annual Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Vine with a creeping or trailing growth habit.
Foliage Leaves are bean-shaped to approximately round with prominent veins (6-15 cm long, 6-15 cm wide). The leaf margin is lined with pointed teeth. 
Stems Stems are round or ridged and covered in long, white hairs.
Flowers Plants may produce male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious) or bisexual flowers. Male flowers are solitary or occur in small clusters, while female flowers are solitary. Bright yellow flowers are composed of 5 egg-shaped to oval, wrinkled petals. The longitudinal veins on the petals are prominent.
Fruits Fruits vary widely in size, shape, texture and taste. It contains numerous yellowish white seeds which are ovate to oblong (4-8 mm long, 2.4-4 mm wide).
Associated Fauna Cucmis melo is mainly pollinated by bees, but it can also self-pollinate.
Cultivation It grows best in sandy loam soils with pH 6 to 6.5. The roots are sensitive to disturbance, so it is better to directly seed the soil or use biodegradable containers for seedlings to be transplanted.
Etymology The genus 'Cucumis' means cucumber in Latin, while the specific epithet 'melo' is an abbreviation of melopepo, meaning an apple-shaped melon. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The species was bred to produce many cultivars of melon, including the popular honeydew and cantaloupe, as well as non-sweet varieties that are used as vegetables.)

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Modification Foliar Tendril
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Orbicular / Round, Reniform)
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Margin Dentate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Rounded
Foliar Base Cordate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual & Bisexual Flowers(Sub-dioecious)
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Wrinkled
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Cream / Off-White, Green - Light Green, Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, Rough, [Remarks] (It varies widely from smooth in honeydew to netted in cantaloupe.)
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit
Mature Seed Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Mature Seed Texture(s) Smooth
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 32255
Species ID 6663
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.