Citrullus lanatus is a plant species in the family Cucurbitaceae, a vine-like flowering plant originating in West Africa. It is cultivated for its fruit. The subdivision of this species into two varieties, watermelons and citron melons
When can I pick it?
Watermelons don’t fall off the vine when ripe. The underside of the watermelon where it touches the ground should be buttery yellow to dark yellow in color. The picture below shows when the watermelon is ready to be picked:
A ripe watermelon should also have a deep hollow sound. When on the vine, if the watermelon hasn’t grown in some time and is visibly well filled out, then it should be ready to be picked.
Right where the stem to the watermelon joins the main vine, there should be a little curling tendril of vine. If the tendril is still green and springy, the melon is still growing. However, if the little tendril is brown and dried, then it is likely that the melon is as ripe as it is going to get.
How do I eat it?
Watermelons can be eaten raw by first removing the skin. Seeds may be removed but are perfectly safe to eat.