- Autumn Sweet Melon
- Bailan Melon
- Banana Melon
- Bitter Melon
- Canary Melon
- Camouflage Melon
- Cantaloupe (American)
- Cantaloupe (European)
- Casaba Melons
- Charentais Melon
- Crane Melon
- Crenshaw Melon
- Galia Melons
- Gac Melon
- Golden Langkawi Melon
- Golden Prize Melon
- Hami Melon
- Honey Globe Melon
- Honeydew Melon
- Horned Melon
- Jade Dew Melon
- Kantola Melon
- Korean Melon
- Maroon Cucumber
- New Century Melon
- Santa Claus Melon
- Select Rocket Melon
- Sky Rocket Melon
- Sprite Melon
- Sugar Melon
- Ten Me Melon
- Valencia Melon
- Winter Melon
Melons belong to the Cucurbitaceae family with many different types varying in size, shape, color, texture and sweetness. Native to Africa and southwestern Asia, melons were among the first plants domesticated. The ancient Egyptians were planting watermelons at least 5,000 years ago.
Melon Nutrition Facts Chart
Types of Melons
To help you with your melon identification or just to discover new melons to try, we gathered a list of melons. Below you can find all types of melons, melon species, and their melon family.
Originally from the Middle East, Ananas are a muskmelon variety with an oval shape and a netted rind similar to that of a Cantaloupe. The interior of the melon ranges from a creamy shade of white to a pale-ish orange and Ananas are also noted for their narrow seed cavity.
Taste-wise, Ananas are intensely sweet, almost famously so and some have a slightly spicy flavor. Ttypically, you can also taste a hint of pineapple (“ananas” is French for pineapple).
The Apollo looks similar to the Golden Langkawi melon but has a completely different skin surface. The Apollo has a webbed look and is very bright in color, while the Golden Langkawi has smooth skin and is light in color. If you want to eat a melon that has a fiberless texture and a fresh, very sweet taste, the Apollo is one to consider.
It is one of the most popular types of melons and has a high-water content, which most melon lovers appreciate.
Autumn Sweet Melon
With a very sweet and watery texture, the Autumn Sweet melon is round in shape and golden yellow in color. It weighs up to nearly four pounds., and has a white flesh that is very sweet.
Bailan melons, another variety of Honeydew melon, feature flesh in colors such as yellow, light green, white and orange. Grown near Lanzhou, the capital of city of Gansu province in China, the cultivar’s seeds initially came from American vice-president Henry A. Wallace in the 1940s. In his non-political life, Wallace founded the seed company Pioneer Hi-Bred.
The name of this melon will make more sense if you look at a picture of a wild banana (before GMOs) as the two are similar in shape. Similar to Ananas, Banana melon cultivars date back to the 1800s.
They are only four inches in diameter but can get up to 20 inches long, with a creamy white flesh.
The Bitter melon has an elongated shape and a dark-greenskin. Although it has a bitter taste, the melon is popular in certain parts of the world and is often eaten as a vegetable, instead of a fruit.
Popular as a dessert or even a snack, the canary melon is large in size and bright yellow in color. It has an elongated shape and white or pale-green flesh. The Canary melon is also very sweet.
Dark greens and browns dominate the shell of these melons but the interior is a sweet creamy white that is similar to the honeydew.
Cantaloupe has a light and sweet flavor, and can grow from less than one pound to more than 11 pounds in weight.
Cantaloupes are very nutritious, high in vitamin A and antioxidants and are easy to digest.
As opposed to the netting that appears on North American Cantaloupes, European melons have a beach ball look with lines that stretch from end to end. The lines typically are a dark green and stand out against the grey-green color of the melon. Interior-wise, European Cantaloupes are similar to other melon varieties with a soft orange flesh.
Casaba melons, introduced in the late 1800s, are related to the Honeydew melon and Cantaloupe. Typically served raw in a fruit platter or salad, the casaba melon has a cucumber-like flavor, is available during the winter and summer months, has a very long shelf life, and it turns bright yellow when ripe.
The casaba has a smooth skin and longitudinal, wrinkled furrows. If you squeeze some lemon or lime juice on the fruit before eating it, the flavor is greatly enhanced, and it can be eaten alone as a snack or as part of a fruit dish.
Reaching up to two feet in length and displaying rinds of fiery magenta colors, the Casabanana melon is immediately noticeable. Other variations include shades of orange, yellow, and dark purple. Inside, the Casabanana is mostly yellow and orange and with the flesh is soft and sweet.
One of the things that makes the Charentais unique is its fragrance, which is very noticeable and pleasant. The melon cultivar originated in France in 1920. Its round shape consists of a light-green color and darker green stripes throughout the fruit’s skin with flesh that is bright orange in color.
The Crane melon is one of several heirloom melons that were developed in California in the early 1900s. They are known for their orange flesh with exceptional sweetness and juiciness. Crane melons are typically usually hybrids that combine Japanese, Persian and Ambrosian melons, among other varieties.
From the Latin Cucumis Melo, the Crenshaw melon is a hybrid type of melon that has flesh that is very juicy and sweet, and orange in color. It has an ovoid shape and yellow-green skin.
The Cucamelon is a very interesting fruit that is native to Mexico and Central America but you can also grow them in your own garden.
The Cucamelon is essentially a miniature watermelon about the size of a grape that grows on a vine. However, it only looks like a miniature watermelon — the taste is similar to a cucumber that has been soaked in lime juice. Tangy and refreshing you can eat them right off the vine.
Galia (also called Sarda in Southeast Asia) are hybrid melons. Developed in an Israeli lab at an agricultural center in the early 1970s, the name is Hebrew for “God’s wave.” They are now also grown in Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Greece.
Galia melons have a round shape, sweet taste with yellow skin and flesh that is light green and white.
Gac fruit, seeds and seed oil are extremely rich in antioxidants beta-carotene, lycopene and zeaxanthin, with the flesh turning to a red-orange color when ripe. The melon has been a significant source of both food and medicine in Southeast Asia for thousands of years.
Golden Langkawi Melon
Originating in northwestern Malaysia, this melon has superior quality and can weigh up to roughly six pounds. While other types of melon have webbed skin, the Golden Langkawi has a much smoother skin. Slightly elliptical in shape, the melon is crunchy, has a high water content, and is high in sugar as well.
Golden Prize Melon
With a slightly elliptical shape and a skin that is bright yellow in color and a little rough, the Golden Prize melon has orange flesh and tastes very sweet.
Its texture is both succulent and crunchy and it has a slightly thick skin. Because of this thick skin, the melon can be kept for a longer period of time before it needs to be eaten.
This is a type of Cantaloupe melon, and in fact, if you look at it you will likely not be able to tell the difference between the two. Originating from the city of Hami in Xinjiang, China, it has white or yellow-green skin and a very sweet, crisp flavor. The fruit is an absolute delight, both aesthetically and tastewise.
Also called a snow melon or a Chinese Hami melon, this type of melon has over 100 hybrids and cultivated forms.
Honey Globe Melon
A melon with superior quality, the Honey Globe melon is round, has a skin that is green in color and webbed, and can weigh up to almost nine pounds. Its flesh is watery and thick, and very sweet as well, mostly because the natural sugar in the fruit equals up to 19% of its total weight. The melon has chewable and tender flesh, and a short harvest time.
The Honeydew melon usually grows from three pounds to just under nine pounds, it’s round or oval in shape, and has a very smooth skin with a pale-green color.
“Honeydew” is the American name of the White Antibes cultivar grown in southern France and Algeria.
Because of its horned skin that is truly unique in nature, this is one type of melon that you will never forget once you see it. The melon has a tart taste that is similar to a combination of cucumber and zucchini.
The Horned melon also has flesh of lime green and skin that is yellowish-orange in color.
Jade Dew Melon
With a round shape and a weight of up to roughly four pounds, the Jade Dew lives up to its name because it is greenish white in color. Its skin is also semi-webbed, and its flesh is milky yellow in color, not to mention both crunchy and sweet.
The Jade Dew melon is resistant to many plant diseases and viruses, making it easy to grow.
Also called a spiny gourd or a thumba, the Kantola melon is part of the gourd family and has a lot of commercial appeal. The Kantola melon is usually eaten as a vegetable, particularly in South Asia.
Korean melons grow to only about four inches long and weigh less than three pounds. They have a bright yellow skin that contains white lines along the length of the melon, along with white flesh.
An ovoid-shaped fruit, originating in Africa, that grows on a very thin vine. Also called bur gherkin, gooseberry gourd, or West Indian gourd, the maroon cucumber is slightly smaller than regular cucumbers and has flesh that is green in color. Its skin is thick and contains spines and long hair.
New Century Melon
With an elliptical shape and thin, yellow skin, the New Century melon has thick, orange-colored flesh that is extremely sweet, as well as a crunchy texture that many people enjoy.
The melon, originally from Taiwan, is resistant to plant diseases and grows up to nine pounds in weight.
Santa Claus Melon
The Santa Claus melon has a skin that is thick and green with stripes on it, and it can be eaten at all three meals, making it a very versatile type of melon. It is as sweet as a cantaloupe, and it has a slightly elongated shape with seeds on the inside. Also known as a Christmas melon, it is filled with potassium and very low in calories.
Select Rocket Melon
Looking similar to the Sky Rocket, this melon comes from New Zealand and is usually planted in place of the Sky Rocket if the latter is unavailable at planting time.
Sky Rocket Melon
The Sky Rocket melon is very light in weight, getting up to only around six pounds. It is a round melon with a skin color that is green and yellow. Known for its chewiness, the Sky Rocket takes only 65 days to be harvested.
Originating in Japan, the Sprite melon has a look similar to a cantaloupe, complete with a round shape and seeds on the inside. The skin of the Sprite melon is ivory in color, and it develops brown markings when it ripens.
The Sugar melon is a type of cantaloupe and has a round shape. Its flesh is thick and orange in color, and it has a ribbed exterior in a silvery-gray color. Sugar melons have a sweet taste, hence their name, and grow up to six inches in diameter. They can weigh up to four pounds and are used in various preserves and seed oils.
Ten Me Melon
The Ten Me melon is usually the most expensive type of melon available, but it is also the one of the highest quality. Growing up to roughly nine pounds, the Ten Me melon has flesh that is extremely sweet, thick but tender, and very fragrant. Its skin is a whitish color and sometimes yellow, and it is also smooth and webbed.
The Valencia melon has a deep, green, thick outer shell and can be stored for long periods. This is another heirloom melon whose origins are largely unknown.
Watermelon is a vine-like plant that flowers and has a thick green skin. Its fleshy center can be red, orange, or even yellow, and it has a high content of water. One of the most popular types of melon, the watermelon can grow up to nearly 200 pounds.
The Winter melon originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit itself has a shape similar to that of an eggplant, but it has green skin and it is very large in size. Winter melon is also called winter gourd, ash gourd, or white gourd, and it is usually eaten in the winter months as a vegetable and not a fruit.
Picking the Perfect Melon – Five Tips
Make Sure the Melon Has No Types of Defects
The first thing you need to do when buying a melon is to inspect what it looks like on the outside. Does it have any brushing, cracks, moldy patches, or soft spots? If there is, you should leave it where it is.
You should always inspect the melon’s skin, or rind, before you do anything else because if there are any imperfections on the outside of the melon, there is likely something wrong with the inside as well.
Inspect the Skin Very Well
For Honeydew and Watermelon, you should look for skin that is dull-looking, since shiny skin is the sign of a melon that isn’t ready to be picked yet. In addition, in regards to Honeydew melons, they should have a color that is light lemon or pale yellow, which means you need to avoid the ones that have too much green color.
Muskmelons and Cantaloupes should also be inspected on the underside because they need to have a net-like texture and a color that is orange or golden. If any melon has an underlying color of white or green, it should definitely be avoided.
Size Makes a Difference
While you’re inspecting your melon, make sure you pick it up and test how heavy it is. If you notice the melon is larger and heavier than it seems it should be, this is a good melon to put in your grocery cart. Remember, when choosing the perfect melon, size really does matter.
Don’t Forget to Tap Your Melon
Just like Watermelons, different melons should also be tapped. Take the palm of your hand and tap the melon a few times on its skin. If you notice a sound that is very hollow in nature, your melon has passed its first test.
Don’t Forget to Smell It, Too
Smelling a melon is one of the best ways to ensure it is ripe enough to buy. A truly ripened melon is going to smell fresh and have a pleasant aroma. You should notice a pleasant fragrance with a touch of sweetness, and you should also test its hardness while you’re at it.
With your fingers, press on the part of the melon that the vine was attached to, and it should be slightly soft when you touch it. This method works especially well with Honeydew melons and Cantaloupes, but it also works with most types of melons as well.
Watermelons for sale at a street market in Antalya, Turkey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does melon cause gas?
Melon may cause gas because of the high amount of natural sugar, called fructose, that it contains. Fructose is hard on the digestive system. It can cause an upset stomach and gas in some people.
Where do melons come from?
Melons are native to the central part of Asia. Today, there are many melon varieties that are cultivated all around the world. It is often found in warm regions.
Are melons fruits or vegetables?
It depends on what type of melon you are considering. Honeydew and Cantaloupe are melons, and they are considered fruit. Watermelon, on the other hand, while still a melon, is considered to be a vegetable. Since Watermelons are grown from seeds and harvested like a vegetable, many consider them to be vegetables.
Where do Athena melons come from?
Athena melons are from the Eastern part of the United States. They are a hybrid Cantaloupe even though it has netted skin and orange flesh like a Cantaloupe. It is larger than a traditional melon and has more sugar.
Can melons be grown vertically?
Different melons can be grown vertically as long as you provide them with strong support for both the vine and the fruit. They grow on sprawling vines that are known for taking over the areas where they are planted.
Can melons and squash cross-pollinate?
No, squash and melons cannot cross-pollinate.