Ireniwaki Red-seeded watermelon

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

Keywords (optional; may include species, genus, family, planting season, etc): watermelon, citrullus lanatus, ireniwaki, inouca, native american, midwest, landrace, summer
Is this seed certified organic?:
No, but no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers were used in producing it
No, and synthetic pesticides or fertilizers were used in producing it.
Available year round?:
No; see lister's profile for availability times
Quantity (optional; may be min. # of seeds, or packet weight, or other measure of quantity): 15
Listing created Jan 14, 2019

Public discussion (3)


1 years ago

Hello Mr Oztan, Mehmet

How many days to maturity? will it work in Vermont, zone 4-5?

wed love to order this from you but wonder if we can get it to maturity

warm regards from chilly Vermont

Ama & Nate

164-a Barre St

Montpelier VT 05602

Mehmet Oztan

1 years ago

This is a very rare heirloom from Midwest Region. It is challenging to find heirloom watermelon varieties that can mature in the region's short summer season for watermelons and that also have great eating quality.

In Florida, plants had mid-season productivity for us but please don't rely on this information as different varieties may perform differently in different regions. Please keep in mind that this is a landrace that wasn't subject to selection of one type of fruit, although all the fruits were long for me. Regardless their size, they all ripened at around the same time.


1 years ago

Thanks for this info!

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