Citron melon is a monoecious, hairy annual vine commonly found in citrus orchards, and cotton and peanut fields. Information is not available on the effect of various environmental factors on the germination of citron melon. Laboratory and greenhouse experiments were carried out in 2011 and 2012 to determine the effect of light, temperature, salinity, pH, simulated water stress, and depth of sowing on the germination of citron melon. Citron melon germination was affected by various environmental factors. Highest germination was observed at day/night temperatures of 25/20 to 30/25 C regardless of light conditions. At temperatures below 25 C and beyond 35 C, germination declined and was higher under dark condition than light. Germination decreased as osmotic potential became more negative (−0.3 MPa to −1.5 MPa) and salt concentration increased (50 to 350 mM). No germination was observed at > −0.9 MPa and ≥ 300 mM salt concentrations. However, germination was observed over a broad range of pH (3 to 9) and up to 10-cm sowing depths. Seeds sown at the surface did not germinate but maximum germination (88 to 96%) occurred at 2- to 4-cm depth. The results of this study suggest that citron melon can grow in a wide range of climatic conditions and therefore can persist in Florida because of favorable weather and environmental conditions.
Nomenclature: Citronmelon, Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mats & Nakai var. citroides (L.H. Bailey) Mansf., CILAC.