Cantaloupe Facts

Cantaloupe Facts
Cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon (in the USA) or rockmelon (in Australia) is a flowering plant that belongs to the pumpkin family. Exact origin of cantaloupe is unknown. Most researchers believe that it originates either from Persia, India or Africa. Cantaloupe was very popular and often cultivated in the ancient Egypt. Cultivation of cantaloupe in Europe started during the 15th century. Christopher Columbus brought cantaloupe to America on one of his voyages to the New World. Cantaloupe requires high temperatures during the summer and plenty of water for the successful development. It grows on fertile, well-drained soil, exposed to direct sunlight. People cultivate cantaloupes because of their delicious fruit.
Interesting Cantaloupe Facts:
Cantaloupe is a trailing vine that can reach up to 5 feet in height/length thanks to numerous tendrils that bind to the nearby objects.
Cantaloupe produces oval, slightly lobed or heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. They are dark green colored and often covered with hairs. Leaves are alternately arranged on the stem.
Cantaloupe develops male and female (or sometimes bisexual) flowers on the same plant (monoecious). Once the reproductive organs reach full maturity, pollen needs to be transferred to the female flower within 24 hours to ensure successful formation of the fruit.
Cantaloupe blooms from July to September. Yellow flowers attract honeybees that are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Inadequately pollinated flowers do not produce fruit or produce irregularly-shaped fruit.
Fruit develops usually 90 days after planting (35 to 45 days after pollination). Brown, dry stem is a sign that fruit is ready for the harvest.
Cantaloupe produces rounded or oblong fruit that is usually tan-colored. Skin can be smooth, netted, lumpy and covered with several ridges. Flesh is sweet, juicy and usually orange colored. Ripe cantaloupe emits sweet, pleasant aroma.
Cantaloupe cannot increase sugar content after the harvest (it ripens only on the stem).
Name "cantaloupe" originates from the Italian town Cantalupo, famous for the cantaloupe cultivation at the beginning of the 18th century.
Cantaloupe is the most popular type of melon in the USA.
Cantaloupe is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins A, C and vitamins of the B group and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. One slice of cantaloupe contains only 100 calories.
Cantaloupe can be consumed fresh, as ingredient of fruit salads or used for the preparation of sorbets, smoothies and ice-creams.
Surface of cantaloupe is often covered with bacteria that can induce serious diseases in humans. That's why skin should be thoroughly washed before slicing.
Compounds isolated from cantaloupe can prevent development of certain types of cancer and cardiac diseases. They also act beneficially on the function of eyes.
Cantaloupe is an annual plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in one year.

Related Links:
Plants Facts
Animals Facts