The watermelon is a monoecious, herbaceous and annual plant. Its native to tropical and subtropical Africa and is part of the Curcurbitaceae family. It has large fruits and a root system which creeps along the ground and deep into the soil. The plant also has pinnate-septa leaves, which are divided into 3-5 lobes whose margins are jagged, glabrous by the bundle, hairy on the underside and with tendrils emerging from the armpits of the leaves. The flowers are unisexual, male and female, are of solitary and infertile ovary. The fruit is a globose or oblong berry.
It is a drought resistant plant, frost sensitive, whose optimum development temperature is between 23-28ºC. It develops well on sandy soils, well drained and with good content in organic matter.
The main pests of watermelon are: Aphis gossypii, Aphis frangulae, Aphis fabae, Myzus persicae, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, Aulacrthum solani, Tetranychus urticae, Liriomyza trifolii, Frankliniella occidentalis, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, Bemisia tabaci, Agrotis sp, Spodoptera litoralis Meloidogyne sp and Heterodera marioni.
The main fungi diseases of watermelon are: Pythium sp, Rhizoctonia solani, Thielaviospis basicola, Acremonium curcurbitacearum, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Niveum, Didymella bryoniae, Alternaria cucumerina, Erysiphe cichoracearum, Spaerotheca fulgínea, Mildiw, Botrytis and Vertillium.
The main viral diseases of watermelon are: MNSV, SqMV, CMV, Watermelon Curly Mottle Virus (WCMoV), CVYV, WMV-I, WMV-II, Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV), ZYMV.
Scientific name: Citrullus vulgaris L.