Montreal melon

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The Persian Melon also know as Montreal melon and Montreal market muskmelon or the Montreal nutmeg melon, is a variety of melon recently rediscovered and cultivated in the Montreal, Canada area. Scientifically, it is a cultivar of Cucumis melo melo.

It was originally widely grown between the St. Lawrence River and Mount Royal, on the Montreal Plain. In its prime from the late 19th century until World War II, it was one of the most popular varieties of melon on the east coast of North America. The fruit was large (larger than any other melon cultivated on the continent at the time), round, netted (like a muskmelon), flattened at the ends, deeply ribbed, with a thin rind. Its flesh was light green, almost melting in the mouth when eaten. Its spicy flavor was reminiscent of nutmeg.

It disappeared as Montreal grew. Its delicate rind, suitable for the family farm, was ill-suited to agribusiness. But after a couple of generations, it was rediscovered in a seed bank maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Ames, Iowa in 1996 and is currently enjoying a renaissance amongst Montreal-area gardeners.


  • Cultural studies on the Montreal market muskmelon, Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin, #169 (1912).

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