Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud.) is often, incorrectly, referred to interchangeably as Muskmelon. This botanical group, however, includes honeydew, crenshaw, Persian, casaba and other 'mixed melons.
Cantaloupes are harvested by maturity. Commercial maturity is ideally at the firmripe stage or "3/4 to full-slip" when a clear abscission from the vine occurs with light pressure. Cantaloupes ripen after harvest but do not increase in sugar content. Cultivars vary in their external color at this stage of maturity and may retain a greenish cast. The skin color typically transitions from dull green to straw color at full ripeness.