Iopride Watermelon
'Iopride' watermelon. Image courtesy of David Pendergrass.

Iopride Watermelon

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100 days — Although some have sold this variety as "Pride of Iowa,"[1,2] from our research, it was introduced, and correctly known as 'Iopride'. The vines produce fruits that are dark green with darker green stripes. They are oblong and blocky with sweet, bright-red flesh and a high sugar content. Holds long at maturity.

Our 'Iopride' watermelon seeds are grown for us in Middle Tennessee by David Pendergrass whose family started raising them for market started back in the early 1980s. He wrote the following to us:
"I think this is one of the easiest melons to grow. In all the years I have grown it, it has never failed to produce a crop. I have had extremely wet as well as dry and hot seasons, and when others failed, this one always came through for me. This strain will get bigger than it is typically described. I average twenty five to thirty pounds and normally have a lot of forty pound ones. It has a good fruit set. I cannot say enough good things about it."
Developed at the University of Iowa by Lewis E. Peterson[2] for upland soils and for resistance to Fusarium wilt and Anthracnose (race 1)[1] and introduced in 1976.[3]

It is in the USDA's genebank as accession number as PI 635741 (NSL 219879 and 220660). Although once popular, it has become quite rare. Each packet contains two grams, which is about 34 seeds.
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