Cucumis melo (*)
Cucumis melo L.
Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) is a species of melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. These include smooth skinned varieties such as honeydew, crenshaw and casaba, and different netted cultivars (cantaloupe, Persian melon and Santa Claus or Christmas melon). The large number of cultivars in this species approaches that found in wild cabbage, though morphological variation is not as extensive. It is a fruit of a type that botanists call a pepo. Muskmelon is native to Persia (Iran) and adjacent areas on the west and the east. Persia and the trans-Caucasus are believed to be the main center of origin and development, with a secondary center including the northwest provinces of India, also Kashmir and Afghanistan. Although truly wild forms of C. melo have not been found, several related wild species have been noted in those regions.
Cantaloupe melons are a good source of potassium, Vitamin A, and folate. Cantaloupes in general are a useful laxative.
In addition to consumption of the fresh fruit, melons are sometimes dried and stored as melon leather. Other varieties are cooked as vegetables or grown for their seeds, which are processed to produce melon oil. Still other varieties are grown only for their pleasant fragrance. The Japanese liqueur Midori is flavored with muskmelon.
1. ^ Nutrition Facts for melons, cantaloupe
* Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-34060-8.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License