seedless watermelon

These days, seedless watermelon is king. It’s so prevalent, that I often get questions from watermelon lovers about where they can find watermelon with seeds. My answer is always the same: Start by asking your grocery store produce manager (he or she can usually point you in the right direction). If that doesn’t work, local farmer’s market is another good source.

But back to seedless watermelon. Specifically, where did it come from and how are they created?


Like the mustache I wore in high school, the seedless watermelon took a little while to catch on. About 40 years, to be exact. In the 1940s, a plant geneticist named O.J. Eigsti developed the first seedless watermelon. And, just like my teenage facial hair, nobody really took the Eigsti’s idea seriously.

The idea didn’t take off until 1980s, when the seedless watermelon was reintroduced and marketed to grocery store chains. But once the stores began stocking it, and Americans got their first taste of a watermelon without the pesky seeds, the seedless watermelon was here to stay.


Seedless watermelon are sterile hybrids created by crossing male watermelon pollen with female watermelon flower pollen. The result is a fruit containing small, white seed coats — or seedless watermelon.

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Please, allow me to set the record straight on seedless watermelons, the originator of the first commercially successful seedless watermelon, the Cal Sweet Watermelon, was patented by Duke V. Layton of Hemet, California. Period! How do I know? I'm looking directly at an official copy of the patent on my wall.

While Eigsti only figured out that the possibility for such a vegetable existed, he couldn't make it work on a repeatable basis. Layton was the one that was able to perfect it.....totally by accident. He was actually hoping to find a way to avoid a common, very expensive problem to the melon industry, anthracnose disease of the species, Citrullus lanatus. He made the discovery while tending his crop at what was a very fertile, sandy soil acreage on the west side of town in what was then known as the Fruitvale District. The discovery became the basis of his doctoral work at New Mexico State University and the patent for the Cal Sweet Watermelon followed.

A dark green, medium-sized, (12-25 pound) melon with light green broken striping has a light brown to faint yellow seed is a good keeper and an excellent shipper, the Cal Sweet Watermelon has enjoyed not only commercial success as a wildly popular variety in it's own right, but has also led to newer varieties being developed, grown and enjoyed the world over.

Now, the masses know a little more about the real story behind the seedless watermelon.

Dr. Eigsti was my professor in my botony class in 1963 at (then) Chicago State Teachers College.
He was excellent teacher...shared with the class about his seedless watermelon research. I was impressed.

I actually live on the Eisty property where the watermelons were grown. We bought the barn which was sold in 2014. There are many places where he engraved his initials. We love this old barn and have remodeled it and now live in it. Just love the history!

I had a genetics Class with Dr. Eigsti in
1964.. it was in the summer, and he brought in
Some of his watermelons from his fields in
Indiana. So sweet, perfectly ripe, HUGE!
Great instructor , nice guy!

i am eating one right now. it prompted me to look it up and get here. i haven't eaten a watermelon in years, but i am impressed with this one. the flesh is dark red, firm and tight. there are some seeds, 2 so far. the taste could be sweeter. it is small, about the size of 2 cantalopes. what got me is the lack of seeds. i have bought these in the past and the still had lots of seeds. something has improved them. we are not getting the whole story. all watermelons should be the product of male polen with female flower. you need a better explanation about how these are produced.

i am actually the great great nephew of this guy


this helped me with my project as well :-)

Thanks this helped me on my seedless watermelon project :)

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