Different types of melons are a tasty summer fruit that you can eat day in and day out for a sweet treat. This is one snack that is everything you want, including fleshy, juicy, and packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals for health benefits. They have a high amount of antioxidants, fiber, Vitamins A and C, and potassium. They also have a very low sugar and carb content to them.
No matter if you love watermelon or one of the other popular ones, we’re going to outline 40 different types of melons that you can grow in your own garden this summer. This way, you’ll know exactly which ones you want to experiment with and try when the spring thaw comes around.
Melons by PurpleLoikeet / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
If you want a type of melon with an exotic taste, this one delivers because it has a slightly spicy and sweet taste to it. It has a cultivation history that dates back to the 1800s, so it’s considered to be an older melon. You’ll get a yellowish-orange coloring with an oval shape, and it has smaller white rinds that make it look like a small version of the cantaloupe. You’ll see a star-shaped seed inside, and it has very juicy, yellow flesh that looks like the inside of a pineapple. The sweetness level will vary, but you’ll get the sweetest ones when they grow and get harvested in warmer regions.
This type of melon has one of the highest water content levels of any melon, and it has a very sweet taste with a slightly smooth texture. The flesh is white with a dark brown top. This type of melon is native to Malaysia, and you get a golden-yellow color on the outside that is very eye-catching as it grows. The tropical look and taste make it an excellent addition to desserts, salads, and cold beverages.
3. Armenian Cucumber
Even though this pick is technically classified as a type of melon, it looks and tastes just like a cucumber. It also falls into the annual vine category that produces very vibrant yellow flowers throughout the year when you plant it in warmer climates, and you’ll get yellow flowers in the summer months for colder climates. The fruits are very slender and long to make them distinct, and the skin is a very pale green color with white flesh to mimic the look of a cucumber. You’ll find it cultivated in Armenia, Asia, and Egypt with a history that dates back to the 1400s.
4. Autumn Sweet
You’ll get a rounded shape with a thin yellowish-golden skin and greenish-white stripes that run from the top end with a sugary, white, sweet flesh. It’s also slightly more watery with a smaller size, and this makes it excellent for smoothie and juice flavoring. It usually ripens from mid-summer to fall, and this is where it gets the name. You’ll find it used in traditional Taiwanese dishes, and it’s a popular addition to soups or as an appetizer that is pickled or candied.
Cydonia oblonga (Quince) by Leonora (Ellie) Enking / CC BY-SA 2.0
This type of melon was rumored to have origins in Lanzhou, China, and this is why it’s also called the Lanzhou honeydew. It also falls into the honeydew family because it looks very similar to them with the orangish-yellow coloring, nets, and white rinds. It also has a juicy yellow flesh that isn’t extremely sweet. If you look at the medicinal properties, it has a reputation for being a miracle fruit because it can cool down your body temperature quickly and treat indigestion.
When you look at it from the outside, it looks like a big banana, so the name makes a lot of sense. On the inside, it looks more like a cantaloupe because it has a peachy orange flesh tone. You’ll get a very savory and unique taste when you bite into it, but it smells like a banana. It was discovered in 1883, and it has a longer shelf life than a lot of types of melons available. You’ll find it heavily cultivated throughout North America.
In Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, this is a very popular vegetable. It is believed that it originated somewhere in India, and many countries around the world refer to it as pare. This also isn’t an oval or round melon. Instead, it has an elongated form with a winkly, dark green skin covering it. It typically grows on a vine, and it has an extremely bitter taste to it. You’ll find it in salads, purees, and soups.
You’ll find this type of melon referred to by many names, including the Christmas melon because you harvest it in December for the best taste. It’s also called Piel de Sapo, and this is the most common name as this melon originated in Spain. It smells and looks like a traditional watermelon, but it tastes more like a honeydew melon. You get a smooth, green skin with small brown flecks and white flesh that is great for colder beverages because it’s not so sweet.
IMG_2753 by Jay Davis / CC BY-ND 2.0
This type of melon falls into the inodorous musk melons with casabas and honeydew. It has a very bright yellow coloring to it. If it’s not ripe yet, many people mistake it for honeydew. The flesh is a very pale green color, and you get a slightly tangier taste than you would with other melons. At the ripe stage, it’ll be bigger than most cantaloupes. You’ll find them in a lot of grocery stores all year round because they’re easy to transport and have longer shelf lives.
There are actually two types of cantaloupe melons available. The true cantaloupe is better known as the European cantaloupe because it originates in Cantalupo, Italy in the early 1700s. You’ll see a very distinct greenish-grey skin with jagged white stripes running along it. The other type of melon is the North American cantaloupe that is native to Mexico, North America, and Canada. It has netted skinny, and both varieties come with orange, juicy flesh with a very mildly sweet flavor profile.
This is a type of muskmelon, and you can easily compare it to cantaloupes or honeydew because it has a bright yellow coloring with a rounded shape. The rinds are green and they have green flecks. When it comes to smell and taste, this is where you start to see differences. It won’t give you a sweet taste, and it doesn’t have much of a smell. It also gives you a longer shelf life like you’d get with a winter melon, and it’s popular to use in smoothies, sorbet, beverages, and cold soup.
256/365 – 9/13/2011 by Cynthia Cheney / CC BY-NC 2.0
This is another type of melon that looks more like a squash or cucumber than a traditional melon. It is originally from South America, and it grows on vines under full sun in warmer climates that don’t have large temperature fluctuations. You get a purple coloring, but you can also find orange and yellow varieties. It tastes like a banana but smells like a melon. You can cook it like you would any vegetable when it’s not ripe, or you can eat it raw as you would any fruit when it ripens.
This type of melon is believed to have originated in France in the mid-1920s. It is widely considered to be a refined cantaloupe variety, and it comes with light green skin in a round shape with darker green stripes. If you look inside, you’ll see a juicy, bright orange flesh with a strong aromatic smell and a mildly sweet flavor profile. You can find it growing in select places in the United States and in North Africa.
The Crane Melon originated in the 1900s in California as a very early heirloom melon variety. The name came from Oliver Crane, and he was the botanist who first bred this type of melon. You can cultivate it using several varieties like Persian and Japanese melons. It’s a very highly crossbred option, and it could have a different taste if you plant it in specific conditions, soil types, weather types, or with different nutrient contents in the soil. It comes with a short shelf life, and it’s a rare type that can’t get commercially distributed.
This type of melon is a hybrid between the Casaba and Persian melon, and it does best when you plant it in full sun. It’s popular to grow in South America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and in the Midwest portion of the United States. You’ll get an oval shape with very thick rinds, and it features yellow or green ridges that run along it from top to bottom. The flesh is a salmon pink coloring and very juicy, but it’s not extremely sweet. There is also a whole seed cluster in the middle, and it has a shorter shelf life. You should eat it a week after you harvest it at the most, and it’s great for adding into cold drinks like smoothies, desserts, salads, or sorbets.
Crenshaw melon split by oliver.dodd / CC BY 2.0
This type of melon is native to Central America and Mexico, and it’s typically planted in family fruit gardens. It grows on a vine, and you’ll get very small grape-like fruits that resemble mini watermelons. It is also juicy, but it tastes more like a cucumber. This is why it’s popular to use as a garnish in cocktails, and you can even swap it in for lime because it has a tangy taste.
This melon comes from Vietnam’s Cochinchina region, and it has a botanical name of Momordica cochinchinensis. This type of melon has a distinct oval shape to it, but it’s a small fruit that only gets around five-inches in diameter at full maturity. It has a spiked rind that comes in red or orange. When you open this melon, you’ll get two edible portions. The red potion is the membrane for the seeds and the yellow portion is the melon’s flesh. It isn’t as sweet as common melons, and it tastes like an avocado. This makes it popular to use in stew dishes or curry in Asia.
This type of melon is a hybrid, and it’s a cross between a honeydew and a cantaloupe. It was first bred in the 1970s in Israel. So, the fruit comes with netted skin and a spicy but sweet taste. The flesh is a pale green but very juicy. Just like the traditional watermelon, the skin on this melon will deepen in coloring as it ripens. There are currently more than 20 different cultivars, and Jami, Jenny Lind, and Persian are the most popular options.
19. Golden Langkawi
This melon is native to Malaysia’s Langkawi region, so the name makes sense. You’ll also find it referred to as golden honeydew melon, and it has one of the shortest growing periods at 35 days before it’s ready to harvest from planting. It’s ready to harvest when you see the yellow flowers pop up and the fruit transitions from a white to a gold coloring. Unlike many melons that have stripes and netted skin, you’ll see all-gold, smooth skin. You get a crunchy fruit in an elliptical shape, and it has a very sweet taste with a higher water content. It’s a good addition to overnight oats or as a breakfast fruit.
20. Golden Prize
You’ll see an oblong shape with a very soft but sturdy exterior with this type of melon. It has a thick skin that helps to preserve the sweet flesh and bright orange coloring, and this allows you to make preserves out of it, like you would with berries. You’ll get a longer shelf life that makes it one of the top cultivated melon types in Central and South America, the United States, and in Mexico.
This is a musk melon that has a cultivation history that stretches back over 700 years in China. It’s a cantaloup variant, and it comes with an oval or rounded shape, yellowish-orange flesh, netted skin, and a sweet taste. Unlike several types of melons that you shouldn’t eat before they ripen, you can eat this one up to two weeks before the harvest phase comes around. This will give you a milder taste like you’d get with honeydew.
Hami by John Loo / CC BY 2.0
22. Honey Globe
You’ll find this type of melon cultivated mostly in Southeast Asia. They have a very short harvesting season with a higher 20% sugar content to make it one of the sweetest melons you can get. However, it’s also one of the most expensive. You’ll get a perfectly rounded shape with this melon, and it has hard white-green or white rinds. The flesh is also a bright white color with a very soft and juicy texture. During the spring months, it offers stunning golden orange flowers.
This is another annual vine that is very sensitive to colder temperatures. It has a waxy but smooth skin and rind that slowly turns yellow as it ripens. It has pale green coloring on the flesh, and you can eat it dried or fresh. The seeds routinely get dried for tea, eaten raw, or toasted as a finger food. This is a commercially cultivated type of melon with a milder taste, but they’re very rich in Vitamins B and C with lower calories. It also grows much better when you plant it with sunflowers or corn.
One of the unique characteristics that makes this type of melon unique is that it has a prickly, horned skin to it. You may also hear it called the kiwano melon, and it has a very high nutrient profile that includes Vitamin B, antioxidants, magnesium, and Vitamins C and E. When you open this melon, you’ll see that the seeds infused right with the fruit. This makes it look like jelly, and this lends to the nickname of the jelly melon. It has a sweeter vegetable taste with a sour undertone like you’d get with zucchini or cucumber.
25. Jade Dew
This is a smaller type of melon that weighs in at four pounds at a maximum when it matures. It has a very visually-striking look to it with a greenish-white coloring on the outside and a yellow flesh on the inside that is sweet and crunchy. It’s very easy to grow, and it’s pest and disease-resistant to make it a favorite amongst beginner gardeners.
You’ll hear this type of melon called the thumba or the spiny gourd, and it’s widely considered to be more in the gourd family than in the melon one. It has a very bitter taste, and you can see it commercially distributed as a vegetable to add to stir-fry, soups, and curry dishes throughout India. It has a higher nutrient profile as well, and it has high amounts of fiber, folate, and Vitamin C.
Phagil (Konkani: फागिल) by Dinesh Valke / CC BY-SA 2.0
Better known as the oriental melon, this type of melon comes in both round and elongated shapes. It weighs in at less than three pounds and grows up to four-inches long at maximum. It has bright yellow skin coloring with white stripes, and it’s smaller than most melons on the list. It has a sweeter flesh that is a white color, and it tastes like a cross between a pear and a honeydew. It has softer skin that is very easy to bruise or sunburn, so harvesting it can be challenging.
28. Maroon Cucumber
This type of melon looks like a miniature watermelon with a pale green skin and lime green spikes. It can resemble a cactus at first glance, but it tastes like a cucumber. It grows on a vine, and you’ll find it grown in the Dominican Republic, South and Central America, and Puerto Rico. The United States has it as an export product that you find growing in California, Florida, Montana, New York Oregon, and Georgia.
29. New Century
Most of this type of melon is cultivated in Taiwan, but it’s also called the Chinese Hami because it is originally from the Hami region in China’s northwestern region. It has an orange-colored and juicy flesh with a 14% sugar content. It’s easy to grow because it resists disease like powdery mildew, and it is very low maintenance. However, it has a higher price tag, and it’s not uncommon to only find it served in high class hotels.
30. Santa Claus
This type of melon falls under the inodorous musk melon category. It’s native to Spain, and you may hear it called the Christmas melon because it has a shelf life that stretches from summer to Christmas. You’ll get a darker green coloring on the rinds and skin with webbed, white stripes. The flesh can be white to pale green, and it has a sweet but mild flavor. They can get up to 12-inches in diameter, and they can easily weigh up to 30 pounds. They are a very popular export from the United States in California, Spain, and South America.
31. Select Rocket
Botanically speaking, this type of melon was originally meant to be a substitute for the sky rocket melon as it had a severe shortage in the late 1990s. This is a native to New Zealand, and it has a very sweet and crunchy flesh to it that makes it a very popular and widely cultivated melon.
32. Sky Rocket
This is a webbed and round type of melon that comes in a yellow-green or white-green coloring, and it has a shorter growing period at just 65 days from planting to harvest. It was an engineered breed that originated in New Zealand, and it has a chewy but crunchy flesh. You’ll find it growing in gardens in the United States and in the Pacific.
Native to Asia, this is an annual vine that is very sensitive to the winter or cold planting zones. You’ll find it cultivated outside a lot in tropical climates, but it has to go inside in a pot or be put in a greenhouse when it freezes or it’ll die. It uses insects to reproduce asexually. You’ll get an oval shape with a striped, smooth skin and a sour flesh. The sour taste makes it popular for use in herbal medicine.
Snap melon by Ton Rulkens / CC BY-SA 2.0
You may hear this type of melon referred to as the Japanese melon as this is where it originates. It has the same color, round shape and seed arrangement inside as a cantaloupe. However, it doesn’t have netted skin, and it features an ivory coloring with brown markings that let you know when it’s ripe and ready to harvest. This is also one of the sweetest types of melon you can buy, and it has an impressive sugar content of right around 35%.
Even though this is a very small type of melon, it comes with a higher sugar content at 14%. You’ll see a very pretty ribbed, silver-grey skin, and the sugar content makes it a candy melon. It has a creamy, orange textured flesh, and it’s an export fruit product of Texas. It’s commonly cultivated to make seed oil and preserves.
36. Ten Me
This is arguably one of the most expensive types of melons available. You get a pale yellow skin that is very smooth when it ripens. The flesh is very fragrant and sweet when it ripens, and it’s commonly served in five-star hotels in salads and sorbets. You’ll find it grown in extremely select regions.
You’ll get a very striking look with this type of melon as it has a forest green, dark skin with webbing, and the flesh is tender and white. It gets cultivated for the sweet, creamy taste with a ginger undertone. It also has a longer shelf life that allows you to store it until the winter months come around. It is originally from Italy, but you can now find it grown for commercial distribution in Algeria, France, and China.
Watermelon is the most popular type of melon, and it’s a fantastic companion plant. It has a very high water content that makes it a go-to ingredient for slushies or smoothies. It’s one of the most highly cultivated fruits in the world, and there are currently over an impressive 1,200 cultivars available. It’s native to Africa and Asia, but they have a cultivation history that stretches back 4,000 years. It does very well when you put it in a tropical garden, and it’s very low maintenance. It has a 90-day growth cycle with a higher yield per plant.
Watermelon by Tom Ipri / CC BY-NC 2.0
The winter melon is a type of melon that can survive the winter months even if it has a summer harvest season. It has a very waxy skin, and the fruit can easily last all winter for a shelf life. It looks like a watermelon, and it has an oval or round shape with a dark green skin. However, it also has a white stripes like squash and zucchini do. It’s a popular stir-fry ingredient in Chinese cuisine, and you can pickle or candy it.
The final type of melon on the list is a very rare cultivare from Japan that only gets grown in Hokkaido. They also have a very sweet taste with a perfectly round shape that makes them extremely expensive. The orange-colored flesh gets graded based on the sweetness factor before they distribute them. They’ll sell the ones that aren’t sweet enough commercially.
We’ve outlined 40 different types of melons for you, and you can easily mix and match them in your garden to try different sweetness levels and looks. We encourage you to pick out a few, see how they fit into your garden, and have this wonderful summer fruit all season long.