This list of melons includes members of the plant family Cucurbitacear with edible, fleshy fruit (e.g. gourds or cucurbits). The word "melon" can refer to either the plant or specifically to the fruit. Many different cultivars have been produced, particularly of muskmelons. Although the melon is a botanical fruit (specifically, a berry), some varieties may be considered culinary vegetabless rather than fruits. The word melon derives from Latin melopepo, which is the latinization of the Greek μηλοπέπων (mēlopepon), meaning "melon", itself a compound of μῆλον (mēlon), "apple"[ + πέπων (pepōn), amongst others "a kind of gourd or melon".
Melons originated in Africa and southern Asia, but they gradually began to appear in Europe toward the end of the Roman Empire. Melons were among the earliest plants to be domesticated in both the Old and New Worlds. Early American settlers are recorded as growing honeydew and casaba melons as early as the 1600s. A number of Native American tribes in New Mexico, including Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Navajo, Santo Domingo and San Felipe, maintain a tradition of growing their own characteristic melon cultivars, derived from melons originally introduced by the Spanish. Organizations like Nativa seeds search have made an effort to collect and preserve these and other heritage seeds.
A honeydew has a round to slightly oval shape, typically 15–22 cm (5.9–8.7 in) long. It generally ranges in weight from 1.8 to 3.6 kg (4.0 to 7.9 lb). The flesh is usually pale green in color, while the smooth peel ranges from greenish to yellow. Like most fruit, honeydew has seeds. Honeydew's thick, juicy, sweet flesh is often eaten for dessert, and is commonly found in supermarkets across the world. This fruit grows best insemiarid chimates and is harvested based on maturity, not size. Maturity can be hard to judge, but is based upon ground color ranging from greenish white (immature) to creamy yellow (mature). Quality is also determined by the honeydew having a nearly spherical shape with a surface free of scars or defects. Also, a honeydew should feel heavy for its size and have a waxy (not fuzzy) surface.