Top Performing Watermelon Varieties in the 2017 Indiana Watermelon Variety Trial

Seedless watermelon variety trials have been conducted at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center in Vincennes, IN for more than 20 years. In 2017, we evaluated the performance of 37 standard size seedless watermelon varieties and 4 mini watermelon varieties. This article introduces the top performing varieties in our trial in 2017.

Standard size seedless watermelons

Red Amber. This is a new variety. It had the highest yield among 37 varieties in 2017. Rind pattern of the variety is a medium green background with a medium dark crimson stripe. Average fruit weight in our trial was 16 lb. Red Amber had relatively firmer flesh compared with other varieties.

9651 and 9601. Both 9651 and 9601 are sugar baby type watermelons that have solid green rinds. Fruit shape is round to oval. Both varieties had a high yield in 2017, especially 9651. Average fruit size of 9651 was 16 lb and 9601 was 15 lb.

Warrior. It had consistently high yields in 2016 and 2017 variety trials, and it is a relatively early measuring variety in both years. Average fruit size of warrior was 16 lb. Warrior has crimson rind pattern.

Road trip and Joy Rind. Both varieties had high yields in 2017 variety trial. But their yields were relatively low in 2016,  when a moderate Fusarium wilt disease pressure existed. Average fruit weight of Road trip was 15 lb and Joy Rind was 16 lb. Both varieties have light green crimson strip rind pattern. Road trip had a high sugar content in 2016 variety trial.

Kingman. It had a high yield in 2017 but moderate yield in 2016. Average fruit weight of Kingman was 15.5 lb. Kingman had a uniform fruit size with more than 60% fruit in 45 count category (13.6-17.5 lb).

Bottle Rocket. It had a high yield in 2017 variety trial. Average fruit weight was 16 lb. It had crimson rind pattern but with a darker color compared to other Seminis varieties.

Embasy. It had a high yield in 2017 variety trial. Average fruit weight was 16 lb. It had dark green crimson rind pattern. Embasy also had a relatively high yield in 2016.

Exclamation. It had relatively high yields in both 2016 and 2017 variety trials. Average fruit weight was 16 lb, with more than 30% fruit in 36 and 30 count categories (fruit weight larger than 17.6 lb). Exclamation was a relatively early maturing variety.

Personal (mini) size watermelons

Extazy. Four personal size watermelon varieties were tested in each of 2016 and 2017. Consistently, Extazy had the highest yield in both years. However, Extazy had about 10-20% fruit above 10 lb, which may prevent it from being marketed as personal (mini) size watermelons.

Detailed information about how we conducted the trial and the results can be downloaded from

We are currently accepting variety entries for the 2018 watermelon variety trial. If you are interested in entering varieties into the trial, please contact Wenjing Guan (, (812) 886-0198). Watermelon growers and company representatives are very welcome to visit the trial during the production season by making an appointment with Wenjing Guan.

Watermelon variety evaluation at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center.

Watermelon variety evaluation at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center.

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