Monday, August 5, 2019

Photosensitivity of Italian Carosello (C. Melo var. Adzhur)

While each Carosello (C. Melo var. Adzhur) variety is different, over time I have come to find that some carosello varieties – in their early stages of development – have photosensitive rinds. This means that if one cucumber of a specific variety is exposed to more sun in its early development that, during this stage of development, the fruit will have more defined dark coloring than other nearby fruit.



Carosello Massafrese female blossom


I believe that the dark coloring in these specific carosello varieties is more pronounced because of the presence of chlorophyll just under the outer surface of the rind. As the area with these predesignated chlorophyll receptors are exposed to light, the photosynthesis that occurs produces a darker coloring.


Carosello Massafrese young, lighter fruit


The recent growth of my Carosello Massafrese helps to illustrate what occurs naturally. A female melon flower has no coloring at pollination. While each Carosello cucumber-melon variety is different, over time I have come to find that some carosello varieties – in their early stages of development – have photosensitive rinds. This means that if one cucumber of a specific variety is exposed to more sun in its early development that, during this stage of development it will have more defined dark coloring than other nearby fruit.




As the Carosello Massafrese matures, the fruit darkens evenly


This photosensitive trait turns out to be most pronounced in the growth of one of my most recent carosello varieties, the striped Carosello Leccese while least pronounced in a recent growing of the striped medium long of Tarantino.



A striped Carosello Leccese blossom



A young striped Carosello Leccese exposed to minimal sunlight



Some young striped Carosello Leccese exposed to minimal sunlight





A much darker young striped Carosello Leccese out in the open


The strong photosensitivity exhibited by fruits of the Striped Carosello Leccese are not just contrasted from one cucumber to another, but also exhibit differences on each cucumber, depending upon how much of the fruit is exposed to direct sunlight.



A striped Carosello Leccese with a little bit of dark showing near the top




As the fruit matures, the exposed skin continues to darken the most


 

Notice the darker rind near the outside of the fruit




A closer look a little later.


To date, the nature of the darkening process in the striped Carosello Leccese is not fully understood. Perhaps the layer of chlorophyll that is photosensitive is a little deeper in the rind than in other carosello varieties. In any case, specific characteristics of carosello should definitely be considered if an individual would like to sell any fruit - especially if a trait (such as variability in fruit coloring) could effect marketability. As the nature and prevalence of photo-sensitivity in various cultivars of carosello cucumbers has not been noted in much academic work, this subject is definitely worth continuing to explore.