MELON, Iroquois Cantaloupe
Seeds per pack ~ 25
Germination 95% April 2023 Packed for 2023
It bears mentioning, first off, that this is not a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) heirloom variety. It was bred by the Dr. Henry Munger of Cornell University (as part of his doctoral thesis) and released in 1944 as the first fusarium-wilt-resistant muskmelon. We can only assume he named it Iroquois in honor of the indigenous people on whose land Cornell University is located. Dr. Munger went on to a prolific career as a plant breeder, introducing dozens of new varieties over 50 years of activity. He is remembered particularly for his contributions to carrot and cucumber breeding (the great 'Marketmore 76' is his), and much of his work is still growing on farms across the US.
One important discovery resulted from a random observation he made once. Our friends at Fedco tell the tale: "Probably half of all commercial carrots sold in the U.S. and Europe are hybrids of a chance discovery Dr. Munger made in Orleans, MA in 1953. While picking blueberries, he noticed a wild carrot plant with pink-petaled flowers instead of white. It turned out to be a rare male-sterile plant that became the parent of hybrid carrot seed production. Through carrot hybridization, plant breeders have increased carotene content and improved taste, uniformity and appearance." In 1974, Dr. Munger was part of an historic plant science delegation to China.
We got these seeds from our good friends at Hudson Valley Seed Company, who say this about 'Iroquois' melon: "Fine netting, tough exterior, meltingly delicious sweet orange flesh, early yields. This variety is fairly easy to grow. Its tough rind repels rot and insect attacks, and its early production makes it a good choice for northern growers."