Is Watermelon A Fruit Or Vegetable? Here’s Why

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: November 14, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/panida wijitpanya
Share this post on:

The Cucurbitaceae family includes the flowering plant known as watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). Butternut squash, cucumber, hubbard squash, pumpkin, and sweet melons, are all members of the “Cucurbit” family. The luscious, juicy flesh of the watermelon is normally deep crimson to pink and includes numerous black seeds, though there are varieties without seeds. The skin as well as the fruit itself is eatable. One can eat the fruit raw, pickled, or cooked. It is also a juice or an ingredient in mixed cocktails! It may seem like common sense that such as common staple in our diet is a fruit, not a vegetable. However, it might be surprising to learn that it is a bit more convoluted than that. So, what exactly is it? Is the watermelon a fruit or a vegetable? In this article, we are going to answer this for you!

Watermelons Are Sometimes A Fruit – Here’s Why!

According to botany, watermelon is a fruit. It is the fruit of a plant that evolved from a vine native to Southern Africa. Fruits and vegetables are parts of various seperate groups based on their botanical origin. A plant’s fruit is a product of its flower; the rest of the plant is in the vegetable category. Vegetables may contain stems, leaves, and roots whereas fruits have seeds.

It’s Also Not A Melon, But A Berry!

Despite its name and the fact that it belongs to the same family as melons, watermelons are actually a berry with a hard rind. Melons have a central seed cavity, whereas watermelons have seeds dispersed throughout the fruit. Some consider watermelons as berries since they have a single ovary, pulp, seeds, and juicy flesh.

What makes things even more perplexing is although watermelon seeds are covered in a juicy layer that is characteristic of berries, the rest of its features make it more like a pumpkin. For example, its thick skin and three distinct fruit peel layers put it as a member of the same family as pumpkins, along with melons. So, watermelon is not a melon but a berry. And watermelons and melons both belong to the same family as pumpkins with similar characteristics!

Watermelon Are Sometimes A Vegetable – Here’s Why!

Occasionally, the term “gourd” describes members belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, including melons, pumpkins, cucumbers, and squash. Young gourds can even be prepared and consumed as a vegetable. Additionally, because it is made using vegetable production techniques, watermelon is occasionally thought to be a vegetable. For example, watermelon is cultivated from seedlings or seeds, harvested, and removed from the field, just like other vegetables. In fact, it appears that watermelon was not only classified as a vegetable in Oklahoma in 2007, but it’s also Oklahoma’s official state vegetable!

This demonstrates how loosely the botanical classifications of fruits and vegetables seem to be. It’s also vital to remember that some culinary terms have definitions that are more in line with general understandings. Fruits are sweet, tart, or sour, whereas veggies are savory or mild.

Watermelon
According to botany, watermelon is a fruit. It is the fruit of a plant that evolved from a vine native to Southern Africa.

Pukao/Shutterstock.com

How Watermelon Is Used As A Fruit And Vegetable

Watermelon is widely thought of as one of the best summertime fruits. Even on the hottest days, it will keep you cool because it is more than 90% water. We add it to salads, mix it into our drinks, and eat it by the pound. However, while most insist that it is a fruit, some refer to it as a vegetable.

Clearly, watermelon can be either a fruit or a vegetable. For instance, in nations like China, the outer rind of the watermelon is prepared like a vegetable by being boiled, stewed, or even pickled. Pickled watermelon rind is also well-liked in Russia and the southern United States. No matter how you slice it, watermelon is year-round versatile, healthy, and readily available.

Nutritional Value Of The Watermelon

Whatever category you put the watermelon in, they are quite tasty and healthy. They are less acidic than citrus fruits or tomatoes—and are a great source of vitamins A, C, and lycopene. While vitamin A is crucial for eye health, vitamin C may heal wounds and is said to have immune-boosting and anti-aging qualities. Also, around 7% of your daily requirements for biotin, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamins B1 and B6 are in a single cup of watermelon. Watermelon may also assist in weight loss, battle dehydration and muscle weakness, lower blood pressure, lower cancer and infection risks, and more!

You can also classify watermelon as a non-fat food for dietary monitoring purposes. The seeds—which, in fact, are edible—are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Watermelon that has been balled or wedged has just under 50 calories per cup. A wedge that is about one-sixteenth the size of the melon in weight has roughly twice as many calories. To prevent blood sugar increases, diabetics may need to exercise caution when eating watermelon because it does contain sugar.

Up Next:

watermelon
The luscious, juicy flesh of the watermelon is normally deep crimson to pink and includes numerous black seeds, though there are varieties without seeds.
iStock.com/panida wijitpanya
Share this post on:
About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is watermelon a fruit or vegetable?

According to botany, watermelon is a fruit. It is the fruit of a plant that evolved from a vine native to Southern Africa. Fruits and vegetables are parts of various seperate groups based on their botanical origin. A plant’s fruit is a product of its flower; the rest of the plant is in the vegetable category. Vegetables may contain stems, leaves, and roots whereas fruits have seeds.

Is watermelon a berry?

Melons have a central seed cavity, whereas watermelons have seeds dispersed throughout the fruit. Some consider watermelons as berries since they have a single ovary, pulp, seeds, and juicy flesh.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Facts.net, Available here: https://facts.net/watermelon-facts/
  2. Healthline, Available here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/watermelon-health-benefits
  3. Gardening Channel, Available here: https://www.gardeningchannel.com/watermelon-fruit-or-vegetable/
  4. Very Well Fit, Available here: https://www.verywellfit.com/nutrition-facts-and-watermelon-carbs-1087575
  5. Tasting Table, Available here: https://www.tastingtable.com/886129/why-watermelon-is-officially-considered-a-vegetable-in-oklahoma/