Citrullus is a genus of seven species of desert vines, among which Citrullus lanatus (the watermelon) is an important crop.

Watermelon, Citrullus lanatus
Watermelon, Citrullus lanatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily: Cucurbitoideae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Genus: Citrullus
Schrad. ex Eckl. & Zeyh.

See text



Molecular data, including sequences from the original collection of Momordica lanata made near Cape Town by C. P. Thunberg in 1773, show that what Thunberg collected is not what has been called Citrullus lanatus, the domesticated watermelon, since the 1930s. Although this error only occurred in 1930 (Bailey, Gentes Herbarum 2: 180–186), it has been perpetuated in hundreds of papers on the watermelon. In addition, there is an older name for the watermelon, Citrullus battich Forssk. (Fl. Aegypt.-Arab.: 167. Jun 1775), which would normally have the precedence over Momordica lanata Thunberg (Prodr. Pl. Cap.: 13. 1794). To solve this problem, it has been proposed to conserve the name Citrullus lanatus with a new type to preserve the current sense of the name [1]


Citrullus consists of the following species and subspecies:[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Renner, Susanne S.; Sousa, Aretuza; Chomicki, Guillaume (30 November 2007). "Chromosome numbers, Sudanese wild forms, and classification of the watermelon genus Citrullus, with 50 names allocated to seven biological species" (PDF). Taxon. 66 (6): 1393–1405. doi:10.12705/666.7. ISSN 0040-0262. OCLC 7249727155. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  2. ^ Achigan-Dako, Enoch G.; Avohou, Edgar S.; Linsoussi, Come; Ahanchede, Adam; Vodouhe, Raymond S.; Blattner, Frank R. (30 January 2015). "Phenetic characterization of Citrullus spp. (Cucurbitaceae) and differentiation of egusi-type (C. mucosospermus)". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 62 (8): 1159–1179. doi:10.1007/s10722-015-0220-z. Retrieved 2 July 2019.

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