University of California

The inheritance of flower types in Cucumis and Citrullus


J. T. Rosa

Author Affiliations

J. T. Rosa was Assistant Professor of Truck Crops and Associate Plant Breeder in the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 3(9):233-250. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v03n09p233. April 1928.

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Sex Forms in Fruit-Producing Flowers

The horticultural varieties of melons and cucumbers, belonging to the genus Cucumis, and of watermelons, belonging to Citrullus, may be divided into two groups according to the arrangement of the sex organs. In one, the andromonoecious group, the plants bear staminate and hermaphrodite flowers. The former are borne in clusters of five in the axils of the main axis and of the lateral branches, while the latter occur singly on the two basal nodes of lateral branches of the first and second order (Rosa,(8),(9). In the second, or monoecious group, the plants bear staminate and pistillate flowers, the location of the pistillate being the same as that of the hermaphrodite flowers in group 1. Monoecism generally is said by systematists to be the typical condition in Cucumis and Citrullus. However, the occurrence of hermaphrodite flowers in cantaloupe melons has been reported comparatively recently by Munson,(6) and Blinn,(1) and in watermelons by Rosa(9). A typical hermaphrodite flower of the cantaloupe melon is illustrated in figure 1.

In cultivated varieties of melons (Cucumis melo) of the present day, the andromonoecious group greatly predominates in number. All of the varieties of English and American netted melons (C. melo var reticulatus) which were grown at Davis in 1923, 1924 and 1925 were found to have hermaphroditic flowers. About 300 different varieties of this group came under observation.

Literature Cited

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[9] Rosa J. T. Pollination and fruiting habit of the watermelon. Ibid. 1925. 22:331-333.

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Rosa J. 1928. The inheritance of flower types in Cucumis and Citrullus. Hilgardia 3(9):233-250. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v03n09p233
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