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CUCUMIS melo 'Lambkin'

Image of Cucumis melo 'Lambkin'

All-America Selections

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Name

CUCUMIS melo 'Lambkin'

Plant Common Name

Christmas Melon, Piel de Sapo

General Description

This 2009 All-America Selections Winner has juicy, pale green, sweet flesh and a compact seed cavity. The 2 to 4 pound fruits are oval with thin skin that is mottled with dark green and greenish yellow blotches. It takes approximately 65 to 75 days to produce harvestable fruits, and summer warmth needs to last at least ten weeks for fruit production.

Melons are tropical annual vines with long, spreading stems that cling via springy tendrils. Their big lobed leaves are coarse, fuzzy and medium to deep green. Bright yellow, funnel-shaped flowers are produced when the vines reach maturity. The flowers are monoecious, meaning separate male and female yellow flowers appear on each vine. The pollen producing male flowers open first, followed by the female flowers, which have distinctive bulbous ovaries at their bases. Only the female flowers produce melons and each must be pollinated by bees for fruit set, so be sure to encourage these productive garden insects.

For best performance, plant melons in full sun and friable, fertile, deep soil with good drainage. Vines should be planted after the danger of frost has passed. It is common practice to create mounds of soil to grow melons in. The seed can be directly sown in ground. Melons need space to grow and should be surrounded by a layer of straw to protect the fruits from rot and keep weeds at bay. If space is limited, they can be grown on a trellis and fruits supported with cloth slings. Heavy rains can cause ripe fruits on the vine to split and lose sweetness.

Christmas melons should be harvested when the skin on the fruit’s underside changes from white and green to yellow and green. 'Lambkin' stores fairly well but is still best eaten shortly after harvest.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 4

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    8"-14" / 20.3cm - 35.6cm

  • Width

    5'-12' / 1.5m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Green, Yellow Green, Light Green

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes