How to Pick a Watermelon

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Submitted by Carnell McAlpine Jr.

Tuskegee University Extension Program Agent

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a flowering plant species of the Cucurbitaceae family and the name of its edible fruit. A scrambling and trailing vine-like plant, it is a highly cultivated fruit worldwide, with more than 1,000 varieties. 

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The sweet watermelon was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 and given the name Cucurbita citrullus. It was reassigned to the genus Citrullus in 1836, under the replacement name Citrullus vulgaris, by the German botanist Heinrich Adolf Schrader. 

Few things are more disappointing than bringing home a tasteless watermelon. Avoid ever having to feel the remorse of wasting one again by learning how to pick a perfectly ripe watermelon from the bunch. 

A few simple visual and audible (yes, really) indicators are all you need to help ensure you leave the grocery store with the sweetest and most flavorful melon every time.