There are more than 1200 varieties of watermelon ranging in size from less than a pound, to more than two hundred pounds, with flesh that is red, orange, yellow or white. Several notable varieties are listed below:
Carolina Cross: This variety of watermelon produced the current world record watermelon weighing 262 pounds (119 kg). It has green skin, red flesh and commonly produces fruit between 65 and 150 pounds (29 and 68 kg). It takes about 90 days from planting to harvest.
Yellow Crimson Watermelon: variety of watermelon that has a yellow colored flesh. This particular type of watermelon has been described as "sweeter" and more "honey" flavored than the more popular red flesh watermelon.
Orangeglo: This variety has a very sweet orange pulp, and is a large oblong fruit weighing 9–14 kg (20–30 pounds). It has a light green rind with jagged dark green stripes. It takes about 90–100 days from planting to harvest.
The Moon and Stars variety of watermelon has been around since 1926. The rind is purple/black and has many small yellow circles (stars) and one or two large yellow circles (moon). The melon weighs 9–23 kg (20–50 pounds). The flesh is pink or red and has brown seeds. The foliage is also spotted. The time from planting to harvest is about 90 days.
Cream of Saskatchewan: This variety consists of small round fruits, around 25 cm (10 inches) in diameter. It has a quite thin, light green with dark green striped rind, with sweet white flesh and black seeds. It can grow well in cool climates. It was originally brought to Saskatchewan, Canada by Russian immigrants. These melons take 80–85 days from planting to harvest.
Melitopolski: This variety has small round fruits roughly 28–30 cm (11–12 inches) in diameter. It is an early ripening variety that originated from the Volga River region of Russia, an area known for cultivation of watermelons. The Melitopolski watermelons are seen piled high by vendors in Moscow in summer. This variety takes around 95 days from planting to harvest.
Densuke Watermelon: This variety has round fruit up to 25 lb (11 kg). The rind is black with no stripes or spots. It is only grown on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, where up to 10,000 watermelons are produced every year. In June 2008, one of the first harvested watermelons was sold at an auction for 650 000 yen (6300 USD), making the most expensive watermelon ever sold. The average selling price is generally around 25 000 yen (250 USD).
Photo: Male & Female Watermelon Blossoms
In Vietnamese culture, watermelon seeds are consumed during the Vietnamese New Year's holiday, Tết, as a snack.
The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill on 17 April 2007 declaring watermelon as the official state vegetable, with some controversy surrounding whether a watermelon is a fruit.
The citrulline which exists in watermelon (especially in the rind) is a known stimulator of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is thought to relax and expand blood vessels, much like the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, and may even increase libido.
Fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL started a tradition of hollowing out a watermelon and wearing it as a makeshift football helmet (the color of the Roughriders is green). During the 2009 Grey Cup in Calgary (between the Montreal Alouettes and the Roughriders), thousands of watermelons had to be imported to Calgary supermarkets to prevent a shortage being caused by Rider fans.
The town of Chinchilla in Queensland, Australia holds a biannual festival celebrating all things melon.
The Ten-lined June beetle is often affectionately referred to as a Watermelon Beetle, due to the green, striped pattern on its back.
The Japanese have 'engineered' a square watermelon that is easier to ship & store by growing them in tempered glass boxes.