Did you know the melon we recognize as cantaloupe in the U.S. is called “reticulated muskmelon”? North American muskmelon has netted skin and a strong scent; however, the true cantaloupe has ribbed pale green skin and looks very different from the cantaloupe we all know.

To not cause any confusion, we will refer to the muskmelon as cantaloupe for the purpose of this list. Here are 15 interesting facts about cantaloupe.

  1. Cantaloupes are the most popular types of melon in the United States.
  2. About 90% of cantaloupes are grown in California, Arizona, and Texas.
  3. Americans eat an average of 27 pounds of melons per year, and 8.7 pounds of
  4. Worldwide, the United States is one of the largest consumers of melons.
  5. Cantaloupes can be consumed fresh and are often used in fruit salads, sorbets, smoothies, and ice-creams.
  6. They are members of the Cucurbitaceae family which includes other melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, and gourds.
  7. These melons are named after the town of Cantalupo, Italy.
  8. They were first cultivated in the 1700s, in their namesake Italian town.
  9. Cantaloupes bloom from July to September and their yellow flowers attract honeybees that pollinate the melon.
  10. It usually takes the melon 90 days for the fruit to develop after planting.
  11. Cantaloupes produce dark green oval, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges on their stem.
  12. The vine of these melons can reach up to 5 feet in height.
  13. The melons only ripen on the stem.
  14. The vine will naturally slip from the melon when it is time to harvest. The skin will also turn creamy-beige under the netted pattern on the melon.
  15. Cantaloupes are harvested by hand during the three quarter to full slip stage.

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Sources:
TheHumbleGardener.com
SmartLifeBites.com
SoftSchools.com
Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence

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