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 a layer of chlorophyll that is photosensitive resides slightly 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.

3 comments:

  1. Hey Jay! How's late summer for you? I'm looking for a source for Taxi tomato seeds. Where did you get yours?

    Have you ever tried Oriental Pickling Melons (Cucumis melo var conomom)? Genetically, they should be similar other cucumber melons and are used for a similar purpose. When I grow out more of your seeds, I'll have to compare them.

    Also, I'm thinking of starting a gardening blog. Got any tips?

    - Nathan

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    Replies
    1. Hello Nathan,

      It is so good to hear from you, my friend. If this is the same Nathan from Tucson, you never said how your watermelon crop went.

      So - the summer has treated me well. There is not much better in the garden than composted leaves and here I composted and used a lot of them. I have been so busy with harvesting and taking pictures that I have not had the time to do my blog. Hopefully, I can make some time to do so when I'm done outside.

      My Taxi seeds are from Territorial Seed Company. Their stuff is pretty expensive, but they keep their seed lines (including lettuce) pretty clean, so it is well worth it. If you are looking for red or dark leaf lettuce, they are the ones to purchase from.

      Oriental Pickling Melons? I haven't tried them yet. I have about 3 different varieties I will be trialing this next spring. If all goes well and they make palatable cucumbers, I may offer seed of pickling melons next year - who knows?

      Gardening blog? I suggest you get a good camera. Mine have always been poor, but I am much more concerned about the content than the pictures. Also - figure out what drives you - in the long run and do that. If you don't enjoy it, you will not be able to sustain it.

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  2. Great to hear from you, Jay. When sprouting the watermelon seeds, I forgot to water them and they all died. But since I've got such a long season, I replanted with cantaloupe instead. Plus, they are hardier. I'm focusing on miniature hybrids to distingish from cheap, 1 dollar melons you can find at Safeway's. Hopefully, with experience, I can try out more aromatic OP melon types next year.

    I'll be sure to look into Territorial Seeds but their seeds are usually pricey. I'll keep looking for a cheaper source.

    I'm starting longer season brassicas indoors right now. Still debating whether I want to try out some of the cucumber seeds or move onto winter vegetables, solely.

    Thanks for the encourage them for the blog, Jay. Maybe you'll see a blog spring up when we get our winter harvests.

    - Nathan

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