Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus, family Cucurbitaceae) is a vine-like (scrambler and trailer) flowering plant originally from southern Africa. It is a large, sprawling annual plant with coarse, hairy pinnately-lobed leaves and white to yellow flowers. It is grown for its edible fruit, also known as a watermelon, which is a special kind of berry botanically called a pupa. The fruit has a smooth, hard rind, usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots, and a juicy, sweet interior flaws, usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white, with many seeds.
Considerable breeding effort has been put into disease-resistant varieties and into developing a seedless strain. Many cultivars are available, producing mature fruit within 100 days of planting the crop. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked.
The watermelon is an annual plant with long, weak, trailing or climbing stems which are five-angled and up to 3 m (10 ft) long. Young growth is densely woolly with yellowish-brown hairs which disappear as the plant ages. The leaves are steamed and are alternate, large and pinnately-lobed, stiff and rough when old. The plant has branched tendrils. The flowers grow singly in the leaf axils and the corolla is white or yellow inside and greenish-yellow on the outside. The flowers are unisexual, with male and female flowers occurring on the same plant (monoecious). The male flowers predominate at the beginning of the season and the female flowers, which develop later, have inferior ovaries. The styles are united into a single column and the large fruit is a kind of modified berry called a pupa. This has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). Wild plants have fruits up to 20 cm (8 in) in diameter while cultivated varieties may exceed 60 cm (24 in). The rind of this fruit is mid- to dark green and usually mottled or striped, and the flesh contains numerous pipes and is red, orange, pink, yellow, green or white