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Melons at a Glance

Refreshing and colorful, all varieties of melons have a lot to offer. 

June/July 2011

By Barbara Pleasant 

This chart is an overview of melon types and lists the varieties we recommend for home gardeners. Check out Growing Melons to learn more about planting, harvesting and savoring your homegrown melons.


Type  Description  Recommended Varieties 

Citrullus lanatus 

Need summer heat, but otherwise easy to grow. Small-fruited varieties that mature quickly make great homestead crops.

‘Crimson Sweet’ (OP)
‘Orangeglo’ (OP)
‘Moon and Stars’ (OP)
‘Sugar Baby’ (OP)

American cantaloupes
Cucumis melo 

Sweet orange flesh with netted rinds. Most varieties slip from the vine when ripe. Choose varieties resistant to powdery mildew for top flavor and productivity.

‘Ambrosia’ (F1)
‘PMR Delicious 51’ (OP)
‘Hannah's Choice’ (F1)
‘Sweet Granite’ (OP)

Honeydew and other green-fleshed melons
Cucumis melo 

Less fragrant and nutritious than orange-fleshed muskmelons, but their flesh tends to be sweeter. Dry weather enhances flavor.

‘Haogen’ (OP)
‘Sakata’s Sweet’ (OP)
‘Passport’ (F1)
‘Venus’ (F1)

Casabas and Crenshaws
Cucumis melo 

Long, hot summers bring out the best in these melons, which have smooth flesh with hard rinds. Not for short-season climates.

‘Crenshaw’ (OP)
‘Lilly’ (F1)
‘Early Crenshaw’ (F1)
‘Twice as Nice’ (F1)

Specialty melons, including Asian and novel hybrids
Cucumis melo 

Interesting variations in shape and flavor, including some varieties that grow well on a trellis and others you can grow for both fragrance and flavor.

‘Brilliant’ (F1)
‘Honey Yellow’ (F1)
‘Early Silver Line’ (OP)
‘Savor’ (F1)

 Locate sources for these melon varieties with our custom Seed and Plant Finder.

Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on .

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