OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma already has the strawberry as its official fruit, so the state Senate cleared the way Tuesday to declare the watermelon the state vegetable.
The measure was introduced in the House by Democratic Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs, site of an annual watermelon festival in August.
Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton, sponsored the bill in the Senate.
“The controversy on whether watermelon is a fruit or vegetable has been officially decided by the Oklahoma Legislature,” Barrington said. He said watermelon comes from the cucumber and gourd families, which are classified as vegetables.
Others are not convinced. Sen. Nancy Riley, D-Tulsa, said her dictionary refers to the watermelon as a fruit.
“I guess it can be both,” Barrington conceded.
The bill now goes to Gov. Brad Henry.