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Is watermelon a fruit or a vegetable?

 Whether watermelon is a fruit or a vegetable is a topic of great debate. Watermelon tastes as sweet as





 the fruit, but it grows in vegetable gardens.

Botanists have an emphatic opinion on this subject, as well as gardeners and melon connoisseurs. Watermelons are believed to have originated in South Africa where they were discovered growing in the wild by David Livingston in 1857. No wonder the plant thrives in climates with long, warm summers. Early American colonists grew watermelons as far north as Massachusetts in the mid-17th century, although the crop takes 120 days or more to mature and grow better.

The opinion of botanists

Any botanist will tell you that a watermelon is a fruit, and, believe it or not, it is actually classified in a subgroup descended from the "berries" that are in turn classified as a fruit. Here's why: A fruit is any part of a plant that results from fertilization. That is, a flower that opens, is pollinated and produces a fruit that contains seeds to produce more plants. Under this precise definition, even beans and cucumbers are considered a fruit! A berry is any fruit with one or more seeds and completely edible flesh, without pulp. Tomatoes, bananas, and papaya are also technically berries.

The Gardener's Opinion

So, what is a vegetable then? Botanically speaking, vegetables are any part of a plant that humans consume, but are not part of the reproductive process. For example, we consume spinach, lettuce and turnip leaves, and we eat the roots of carrots, beets and potatoes.
A backyard gardener may classify watermelons as a vegetable based on gardening techniques. Gardeners commonly plant watermelons in the vegetable garden along with beans, peas, and corn. Just like other garden vegetables, watermelons require rich soil and plenty of water and fertilizer. Gardeners plant them in the spring and harvest them in late summer—just like other garden vegetables. No wonder gardeners may view watermelons as a vegetable.

judge for yourself

Bite a slice of a ripe watermelon and taste its juice, and you'll probably think of "fruit." Watermelon contains 92 percent water and 8 percent sugar, so it's no wonder it tastes like fruit. In the Arab world, watermelon is generally eaten fresh in cubes or slices, or made into sweet desserts, such as juices, reinforcing the idea that it is a fruit. However, in some Asian cultures, the melon rind is pickled with salty spices and the flesh of the melon is used for stir-frying, as it resembles a vegetable. So, is watermelon a fruit in one culture and a vegetable in another?

Botanists classify watermelon as a fruit, and most people agree with that. But, whether you classify watermelon as a vegetable or a fruit, no one can deny its refreshing taste and delicious flavour.

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