is a fruit from a vine-like plant that originated from southern Africa. It is one of the most common types of melon. This flowering plant produces a special type of fruit known by botanists as a pepo, which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). The watermelon is loosely considered a type of melon even hough it is not in the genus Cucumis. It has a smooth exterior rind which is usually green and yellow and a juicy, sweet, usually red, but sometimes orange, yellow, or pink interior flesh.
There is evidence that watermelon had been cultivated in the Nile Valley from at least as early as the second millennium BC. Finds of the characteristically large seed are reported in Twelfth dynasty sites; numerous watermelon seeds were also recovered from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, although the existence of the fruit in ancient Egypt is not certain because it is not depicted in any hieroglyphic text nor does any ancient writer mention it. It wasn't present in any other culture of the ancient Mediterranean.
By the 10th century AD, watermelons were being cultivated in China, which is today the world's single largest watermelon producer. By the 13th century, Moorish invaders introduced it to Europe. The word "watermelon" made its first appearance in an English dictionary in 1615.
This now-common watermelon is often large enough that groceries often sell half or quarter melons. There are also some smaller, spherical varieties of watermelon, both red- and yellow-fleshed, sometimes called "icebox melons."
In Japan, farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons, by growing the fruits in glass boxes and letting them naturally assume the shape of the receptacle. The square shape is designed to make the melons easier to stack and store, but the square watermelons are often more than double the price of normal ones. Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed.