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Search Results for ' Cucumis melo'

PAL Questions: 1 - Garden Tools:

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Keywords: Cucumis melo, Cross-pollination, Citrullus lanatus

PAL Question:

Will watermelon and cantaloupe cross-pollinate and produce bad-tasting melons?

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The short answer is, no. It's fine to grow watermelons and cantaloupe side by side. Cross-pollination between melon varieties may occur, but not between watermelons (Citrullus lanatus v. lanatus) and cantaloupes (Cucumis melo ssp. melo v. cantalupo), as they are two different species. In addition, cross-pollination affects not the melon produced that year, but the melons one might grow from any seeds produced inside that melon. According to Sue Stickland's Back Garden Seed Saving (Chelsea Green, 2001), "commercial seed growers are recommended to isolate melon varieties by 500-1000 meters" or "bag and hand-pollinate the flowers" to keep unwanted hybridization from happening.

You may find this information from Iowa State University Extension about cross-pollination among vine crops interesting:
"Since they have a similar flowering habit, bloom about the same time, and are members of the same plant family, it is logical that gardeners might assume that squash, melons, and cucumbers will cross-pollinate. Fortunately, however, this is not true. The female flowers of each crop can be fertilized only by pollen from male flowers of the same species. Cross pollination, however, can occur between varieties within a species."

An article on fruit set in the Cucurbit family from University of California, Davis (which also has information on how to hand-pollinate plants when necessary) says much the same thing:
"A common misconception is that squash, melons, and cucumbers will cross-pollinate. This is not true; the female flowers of each can be fertilized only by pollen from that same species. Varieties within each species, however, will cross-pollinate."

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Date 2012-05-10
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December 12 2014 11:33:49