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Is Watermelon A Berry Or A Melon? [Shattering Truth]

Names can misrepresent the nature of the fruit and vegetable, such as a Tomato is a berry and a Strawberry not, extending even to melons like Watermelon.

Generally, Watermelon is a type of berry that produces a large edible fruit called a pepo. It is a flowering member of the Cucurbitaceae family that gives a true fruit from a single ovary without being associated with other flower parts.

You can enjoy Watermelon, either raw or pickled, due to which people sometimes mistake it for a vegetable.

So, continue the article to clear the speculation about Watermelon.

What Is A Berry? [Explained In Detail]

With the word berry, you might get an imaginary idea of it being a round, small fleshy fruit holding numerous seeds.

However, it is not about shapes and sizes, but numbers can be a factor.

Berry is a botanical term used for fruits that hold their seed intact without letting it disperse.

Additionally, botanists describe berries as a single fruit developing from a single ovary and enclosing the seeds within its flesh. The edible part is an ovary and nothing else.

For clarification, take Apple, which is not a berry, even if it holds numerous seeds. It is because Apple is a pome fruit not born from the ovary.

The fleshy fruit is due to the receptacle that turns into edible flesh, while the ovary holds seeds inside the flesh.

Meanwhile, the melon members like Cantaloupe, Cucumber, and Squash are berries whose edible part is solely an ex-ovary.

The list also includes Citrus family members like Lemon and Orange, which hold numerous seeds and have flesh solely from the ovary.

But they have septa segments that divide the flesh into parts and have leathery, hard rinds similar to Pumpkin. Thus, botanists refer to them as modified berries.

Is Watermelon A Melon Or A Berry?

Often, the common perspective accepts small edible fruit like Strawberries and Raspberries as a berry. But instead, bigger unexpected members belong to the category.

Watermelon, the first on the list, is a melon that falls under the berry type, specifically pepo, for its fleshy edible part with flattened black seeds.
A vine with a small baby watermelon
Watermelon is much larger to call a berry, but they stand out botanically.

Here, you can say that Watermelon is both melon and berry.

A melon because the edible part of a Watermelon is sweet and juicy. It has trailing vines that hold large fruits and is from the gourd family.

Meanwhile, it is a pepo berry because of its three subdivisions as exocarp (outer skin), mesocarp (edible flesh), and endocarp (seed area).

The epicarp forms the hard rind, the mesocarp into flesh, and the endocarp holds the flat black seeds deep inside.

So if a fruit arises from a single ovary of an individual flower, a phenomenon that applies to Watermelon, you can call it a berry.

Is Watermelon A Fruit Or Vegetable?

Culinary terms can sometimes collide with botanical terms, so confusion arises. And thanks to it, many regard Watermelon as a vegetable.

People believe vegetable is not a technical term. Instead, it refers to the edible part of the plant, suitable for consumption.

So going by the definition, Watermelon technically can be a vegetable grown from seeds and harvested from the ground.

Also, Cucurbitaceae members Pumpkin, Cucumber, and Squash must have made Watermelon gain fame as a vegetable.

For this, even the Oklahoma legislature declared Watermelon a State vegetable in 2007.

However, if we look into the botanical definition and edible technique, Watermelon is a fruit, not a vegetable.

From Editorial Team

Overall Review!

Fleshy fruits can be of five significant types, including pome (Apple), drupe (Peach), pure berry (Eggplant), pepo (Squash), and hesperidia (Lemon).

Meanwhile, the berry is all indehiscent and does not rupture to spread seeds even if they attain maturity.

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