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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 23:51-53 (article 15) 2000

Watermelon Cultivars in the United States in 2000

Donald N. Maynard

Gulf Coast Research and Education center, University of Florida, Bradenton, FL 34203

Plant breeders, seed industry personnel, crop advisors, and growers are interested in cultivars that are being grown in various parts of the country. Wehner (1) developed a list of cucumber cultigens to represent the diversity of the American cucumber market based on his genetic studies. The list of watermelon cultivars presented here was obtained by survey of knowledgeable individuals in ten of the most important watermelon producing states.

Diploid (seeded) cultivars are shown in Table 1. 'Allsweet', 'Black Diamond', 'Calsweet', 'Crimson Sweet', 'Jubilee II' and 'Legacy' are open-pollinated cultivars (opc) whereas the other 18 cultivars are listed as hybrids. The opc are grown mostly in one state suggesting regional adaptation or local demand. On the other hand, hybrids generally are grown in several states suggesting wider adaptation. the Allsweet type which usually is associated with high quality is represented by more than half of the listed cultivars m three opc and eleven hybrids. 'Sangria' and 'Royal Sweet' are popular in seven states. 'Fiesta' in six states and 'Mardi Gras' and 'Regency' in five states each.

Triploid (seedless) cultivars are shown in table 2. Almost half of the triploid cultivars are 'Tri-X-313' look-alikes. 'Tri-X-313 is popular in all ten states, 'Summer Sweet 5244' in nine states, and 'Millionaire' in eight states, 'Genesis' in five states and 'Tri-X-Shadow' in four states.

What conclusions can be drawn from these data?

1) The transition from diploid opc to diploid hybrid cultivars is nearly complete. Some unique opc will continue to be grown for local sales, but hybrids will be favored for large-scale production because of greater uniformity, reliability and generally enhanced yields and quality.

2) Only a relatively few watermelon cultivars are widely grown commercially even though there are hundreds of available cultivars.

Table 1. Diploid watermelon cultivars currently being grown in some of the principal producing states.
Cultivar
Arizona
California
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Indiana
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Texas
Allsweet
X
Athens
X
Big Stripe
X
Black Diamond
X
Calsweet
X
Celebration
X
X
X
Crimson Sweet
X
X
X
Emperor
X
Fiesta
X
X
X
X
X
X
Jade Star
X
Jubilee II
X
Legacy
X
Mardi Gras
X
X
X
X
Pinata
X
Regency
X
X
X
X
X
X
Royal Flush
Royal Majesty
X
X
Royal Star
X
X
X
Royal Sweet
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Sangria
X
X
X
X
X
Starbrite
X
X
Stars-N-Stripes
X
X
Summer Flavor 500
X
X
Summer Flavor 800
X
X
X

Table 2. Triploid watermelon cultivars currently being grown in some of the principal producing states.
Cultivar
Arizona
California
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Indiana
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Texas
Gem Dandy
X
X
Genesis
X
X
X
X
X
Laurel
X
Millennium
X
Millionaire
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Nova
X
X
Revolution
X
X
Scarlet Trio
X
Sugar Time
X
X
Summer Sweet 5244
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Summer Sweet 5544
X
X
Triple Sweet

Tri-X-Carousel

X
Tri-X Palomar
X
X
Tri-X Shadow
X
X
X
Tri-X 313
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Ultra Cool
X

Acknowledgments: The assistance of Frank Dainello, Tim Hartz, Richard Hassell, Terry Kelley, Liz Maynard, Jim Motes, Jonathon Schultheis, Kai Umeda, and Tracy Wooten in providing information on watermelon cultivars grown in their state is gratefully acknowledged.

Literature Cited

  1. Wehner, T.C. 1994. A set of cucumbers to represent the American market. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 17: 12-13.
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Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
Created by T.C. Wehner and T. Ng, 1 June 2005; design by C.T. Glenn;
send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 15 December, 2009