The melon comes from Persia originally. It was grown around the whole Mediterranean area early and had reached most parts of Europe aided by the Romans. After the fall of the Roman Empire it only appeared sporadically in France and England. Not until the 1400s did it come back for real, chiefly in France where it was greatly appreciated and there several new variants were developed.
The melon is grown, several variants, all over the world today. C. melo var. reticulates is our common netted melon while the smooth and ridged melon is called C. melo var. cantalupensis. The so called winter melon or casaba C. melo var. inodorus is mostly grown in Asia. It lacks the aroma of the ripe melon.
Like other members of the cucumber family the melon is annual with deeply cut hand-like leaves, yellow flowers (sometimes carrying both sexes) and juicy fruits.
Melons are, together with cucumbers, pumpkins, marrows, squashes and gourds, the most commonly grown crops of the gourd family.
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