This is a very rare landrace watermelon from the Illinois Confederation. Seeds for it were originally donated to USDA by a Native American man named John K. White in 1999, shortly before he passed away and he could have provided in-depth historical information.
According to the USDA narrative, "The earliest explorers mentioned the different varieties of watermelon the Ireniwaki were growing. One said the best were those with red seeds." Our foundation seed stock came from James Troudt, an SSE member. Part of James' seeds came from Teakiki River Traders who had received their seeds from John K. White as well.
Although shape of all fruits is long, size of ripe fruits is variable. Please save seeds from as many ripe fruits as possible to maintain the varietal diversity.
Specifically this listing is meant to keep the variety alive and I kindly ask farmer and seed steward friends not to commercialize the seeds. I predict that this is one of the oldest heirloom watermelon varieties in existence in North America. This seed crop was grown in spring in Tampa, FL, before we moved to Morgantown, WV.
I typically mail seeds in padded envelopes so the listing price covers the shipping and packaging costs. For more information go to http://twoseedsinapod.com/product/ireniwaki-red-seeded/.