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Moon & Stars (Van Doren) Watermelon

SKU: 0266A
$3.95 to $33.08

Item Details

The 15" dark green oval fruits are covered with pea-sized, bright yellow "stars" and usually one larger "moon". Foliage is also spotted. The fruits have sweet pink flesh and brown seeds. This watermelon created a sensation in 1981 when Merle Van Doren of Macon, Missouri shared this legendary variety with Seed Savers Exchange.

  • 90-95 days
  • Organic
  • Oval fruits grow to 15 inches long
  • Fruits are covered with pea-sized bright yellow “stars” and usually one larger “moon”
  • Spotted foliage
  • Sweet pink flesh with brown seeds

This variety works for:

  • Fresh eating

SSE's current stock of the Moon and Stars (Van Doren) watermelon tested at a 69% germination rate. This is below the federal germination rate standard (70%) and has been over-packed by 25% of the stated quantity.

Growing Instructions

Instructions - Sow seeds outdoors in 12" diameter hills after danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Space hills 8' apart in all directions. Seeds will germinate in 4-10 days. Can also be started indoors 4 weeks before transplanting out. Watermelons love heat and prefer sandy or light-textured soils.

  • Direct Seed: 1/2" Deep
  • Seeds to Hill: 6-8 Seeds
  • Thin: To 3-4 Plants
  • Light: Full Sun


Nothing compares to the experience of eating fresh watermelon slices on a warm summer day. Watermelon flesh can also be used for cold soups with citrus or in salads with arugula and feta cheese.

To make a refreshing watermelon granita, or frozen ice, blend 4 cups of watermelon flesh that has been cubed and seeded with 1/4 cup of sugar and juice from half of a lime. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and freeze for 1-3 hours. You can then scrape the ice with a fork and serve with mint or basil.

Some people pickle the rinds of watermelons with cider vinegar and pickling spices or with a combination of sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. These pickles are a great addition to appetizer trays at parties.

Ratings & Reviews

4 reviews

Poor germination


Poor germination. Pre-sprouted with very low germination.

Love these


I am so excited about these watermelons. I have 2 larger ones on now and several babies. I Have a bit to go before they are ripe.

Poor germination, but hopeful!


Direct seeded 24 seeds and had 4 germinate. Good flowering and now have 5 watermelons across the 4 vines.

Reliable, tasty, and fun!


I've been growing this cultivar for several years in NE Ohio and it's consistently performed well. Had a bout of powdery mildew in the garden a couple years in a row but this one seemed unaffected. Good flavor and the spotted vines & fruit always attract attention in the market. The large "moon" spots seem sparse some years. We give these a head start indoors before the season starts for more production.