Watermelon comes in green, green striped and variegated blends of green speckled skinned and even black. Black is beautiful in melons like sugar baby melons. Beneath the skin watermelons are traditionally red and juicy, some lighter pigmented melons are even described as ‘pink’. However not all watermelons are Red, yellow is the new black when it comes to watermelons.
Yellow and white watermelon varieties are probably more ancient than their pink and red contemporaries. Botanists believe that the yellow watermelons grew wild in Southern Africa and hybridized and adapted as they spread north becoming the ancestors of of our current red fleshed melon.
Yellow watermelons are a novel result of breeding, they are not GMOs and are perfectly safe. Yellow watermelons are a tad sweeter than standard red ones but still contain that crisp watery crunch we expect from a juicy melon. For centuries farmers have noticed that from time to time that the flesh of one melon out of thousands would be a completely different shade from the rest of the flock. Perhaps a throwback to their ancestry, a recessive gene surfaced, like the black sheep in the herd.
Enterprising botanists capitalize on these oddities and selectively breed them, over a period of time a new breed of melon is isolated and marketed.
Growing a yellow watermelon is no different than growing a red one. See: Growing Watermelon. The seeds, although not always easy to find locally are readily available online.
Varieties of Yellow Watermelon
One of the oldest varieties of yellow watermelon is Missouri Heirloom Yellow Flesh Watermelon, one of my favorites, it produces a yellow orange flesh that is sweet, crisp and juicy.
Yellow Crimson is Identical to red Crimson till you slice it open and discover the yellow flesh. Taste is a little sweeter.
Yellow Doll is an early maturing melon popular among Northern growers. It is relatively small at only 5 – 7 pounds but very sweet and delectable. Can be grown where space is limited.
Buttercup yellow watermelon is a Hybrid Seedless variety. Lemon yellow dense flesh with a very high sugar content. Super Sweet. 12 to 15 pounds 14 to 16 pounds each. Yields prolifically, in warmer climates fruit thinning becomes necessary.
Desert King is actually orange like a cantaloupe but sweet and crispy like a watermelon should be. Fairly large 20-lb melons. Drought resistant, sun scald resistant, stores well.
Yellow Petite is very aromatic when sliced open. It is sometimes sold as a personal watermelon as it is fairly small at 4 to 7 pounds each. High sugar content as are most yellow watermelons.
Yellow Moon and Stars Yellow similar to standard moon and stars and a little more difficult to grow.
Cream of Saskatchewan is an older heirloom. It is more cream colored than yellow, almost white in some instances. Fruits average around 8-10 lbs each. Sweet and aromatic.
A few other Yellow varieties worth looking into are
Yellow Black Diamond , Tastigold and Early Moonbeam
Some of the more rare yellow watermelons include Clay County Yellow Meat Melon, Hopi Yellow Watermelon, Yellow Mountain Sweet, Lemon Krush.