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Many people, both children and adults, consider watermelon the most delicious treat. Tasting the juicy and sweet pulp of the fruits of this plant, not many people think about the origin of this plant, whether it is a fruit, vegetable or berry.
In fact, the plant has a very interesting history of domestication. And about its botanical classification at all, the controversy does not subside for a minute.
The article will acquaint you with an interesting opinion of what a watermelon is, its origin, useful properties and several interesting facts.
- Is watermelon a fruit, vegetable or berry?
- Melon and watermelon
- Homeland of watermelon
- Beneficial features
- Some interesting facts
Is watermelon a fruit, vegetable or berry?
According to Sergey Sokolov, candidate of agricultural sciences GNU VNIIOB, a watermelon is definitely not a fruit, because its stems creep along the ground, and do not grow like trees. It can be easily attributed to berries, but with some reservations.
Based on botanical characteristics, the plant can be called a berry, namely, a false one!
The main factor that distinguishes the fruits of this plant from the berries is their shell. For example, we eat the whole gooseberry, along with the skin, but the watermelon - no! The presence of a thick crust made up of coarser cells makes it a false berry.
It is not recommended to gnaw the pulp to the crust, because harmful substances accumulate in it.
It is not uncommon for a plant to be mistakenly called pumpkins - botanists call the fruits of pumpkin, cucumber and melon in a similar way. The pumpkin has a cavity in the center, which is absent in the watermelon. Its seeds are located inside the pulp, like ordinary berries.
Therefore, watermelon is the biggest, but false berry!
Melon and watermelon
Let's see why a watermelon is a berry, but a melon is not, because the fruits of both plants have similarities in structure, ripening time, cultivation methods. Plants are united by one class, but belong to different types: melon is referred to as fruit, and watermelon is referred to as berries.
Both plants are similar in stem development and root development, but the flowers and leaves of the melon are similar to squash, cucumber, and pumpkin. The melon peel is much thinner and softer in comparison with watermelon, it does not differ from the pulp.
And the arrangement of the seeds in both fruits is completely different. It is believed that the closest relatives of the melon are cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, but the watermelon is a very distant, but still, relative. After careful study of the information, the conclusion suggests itself - although both plants are combined into one family, they are completely different.
Melon is a vegetable, watermelon is a berry, although some consider it false.
Homeland of watermelon
The plant came to us from Africa, from the Kalahari Desert. From there, the colocynth, a wild species of this plant, spread throughout the planet. The fruits of this plant are bitter, but sometimes there are edible species. The juicy fruits of this plant saved travelers in the desert from death due to thirst.
This is associated with the domestication of the colocynth and further selection, which made it possible to obtain a large number of varieties that were completely different from one another.
It is known that this plant can do without a sufficient amount of water and high-quality soil, but without the sun, it will not be able to ripen, it will not pick up sweets, it will not be tasty.
Fruits accumulate almost 13% of various sugars, the main part of which is fructose. That is why diabetics can eat them.
Of course, the fruits of this plant are not champions in terms of water content, but its content in the pulp is up to 90%. And some varieties contain a large amount of pectin and dry matter. These berries are not boring at all. Doctors often recommend them as an excellent diuretic that can efficiently flush the kidneys and cleanse the body of toxins.
The pulp of the fruit contains folic acid, which is necessary for the production of blood, which supports the course of metabolic processes in the tissues of the human body. The pulp has choleretic properties. Often the fruits of this plant are recommended to be taken for diseases of atherosclerosis, gout, arthritis. Nutritionists prescribe watermelons with black bread with high acidity.
The fruits of this plant are of great benefit for liver pathologies, heart disease, gallbladder, anemia, obesity, Botkin's disease, nosebleeds. Frequent use of these berries in food removes sand and even small stones from the kidneys.
With excess weight or obesity, a fasting diet is useful, in which it is necessary to consume three kilograms of watermelons per day.
Tea made from watermelon peels is no less useful. Dried or fresh peels can be used.
Tea rejuvenates, gives the skin elasticity, restores its healthy color. In addition, the peels are used for cosmetic purposes, for the manufacture of masks, and an emulsion is made from the seeds, which helps in removing acne and freckles.
Some interesting facts
The most ancient is the image of a watermelon on the inscriptions in the Egyptian pyramids. Most scholars consider the Nile Valley to be his homeland. The fruits of the plant were left in Egyptian tombs, along with other household items. This was done so that the deceased could enjoy these delicious juicy fruits, passing into the afterlife.
It is believed that the most unusual variety of watermelons is grown in India. They are grown in hammocks suspended above the water. The bottom is covered with moss, then filled with silt and seedlings are planted. In such conditions, the fruits grow to simply incredible sizes. Harvesting from boats.
Today, the largest watermelons are grown in Iraq. They have an elongated shape and a length of about one and a half meters. To transport such a monster, a wagon is required, in which two donkeys are harnessed. Wild pigs pose a threat to watermelon plantations. For this reason, farmers have to protect the melons day and night.
Additional information about watermelons - when watching the video: