Seed Saving: Expert
Water Requirements: 2
Cedrina Pumpkin (Cucurbita caffer)
Cedrina Pumpkin (Cucurbita citrullus): also called Lemon Watermelon or Winter watermelon. Ancient species cultivated in Italy since the beginning of the 17th century, it is consumed cooked, in preserves, or other sweet recipes.
The numerous fruits reach 6/8 kg.
On the outside it looks like a watermelon, inside, the flesh is firm and yellow pale, with a hint of watermelon taste but not that sweet.
A peculiarity of this species is the scarlet red seeds, really beautiful!
The plant is exceptionally rustic and resistant to fungal diseases.
Rare variety that is disappearing, grow it at home to save tradition and bring a different taste to your table.
Red Seed Cedrina (Cucurbita caffer): also called Lemon or Winter watermelon, out of the two ecotypes, from which the one of green seeds is the rarest. This ancient species has come from Africa, probably from the Kalahari desert and has been cultivated in Italy since the 17th century, possibly even earlier. A piece of information about this variety that is little known but of great importance is the fact that it needs very little water, it is extremely rustic, and bears full sun exposure without any problem, it is also very productive and perfect for winter conservation. In places where it is native as well as in semi-deserted areas where it is cultivated (such as Mexico, to where it is immediately acclimatized) it is also used as a source of water. It can be eaten raw, but its flavour and texture are not the best in that case, in our country, for instance, it is used for making mustard and preserves, thanks to its large content of pectin. In the next section the traditional recipe of Ravenna is provided. Its cultivation is quite simple, similar, in terms of needs, to a spontaneous variety, it can even be grown at the limit of the vegetable garden without much attention; it will, however, produce numerous fruits similar to watermelons, about 4/6 kg. This one is a bit smaller than the Green Seed Cedrine, of firm pulp, lemon yellow colour when ripe. It can be sown from April to June (South). Traditionally, some fruits are left on the soil so the following season they grow independently when the temperature is suitable for germination. Its cultivation is very simple, it has no particular needs of soil, equires very little water, and is resistant to fungal diseases. Its ripening process is quite long, but it is possible to harvest the pumpkins (or watermelons) and keep them at home until ripen. They are ready for consumption when the pulp takes beautiful lemon yellow colour, and the seeds are dark green, tending a bit to brown.
This species is a sample of sustainability because it has very few needs, it requires minimal soil processing, and does not need irrigation (dry farming), it can be preserved for a long time in both ways, as harvest or processed, without using electricity.