You need look no further than dragon fruit if you want to raise a fruit that is genuinely extraterrestrial. The dragon fruit, often referred to as pitahaya, is a cactus-grown fruit that is indigenous to Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Dragon fruit is sweet on the interior, with dazzling white flesh and small black seeds, and is distinguished by its vivid pink, leathery exterior. If you cultivate a dragon fruit cactus, you’ll not only be able to harvest this unique, tasty, and eye-catching fruit, but these perennial cacti also add ornamental value to your house or garden.
Dragon fruit cacti are best planted in the spring and can reach a height of 20 feet. They generate aerial roots that enable them to cling to objects, giving them their crawling, climbing nature. If you plant a cutting, you might have a crop in one to three years, whereas dragon fruit cactus might take up to seven years to yield fruit from seeds.
Do dragon fruits belong to the family of cacti?
The dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) is a tropical fruit that is a member of the Cactaceae family of climbing cactus. The fruit is well-liked in Southeast Asia and is widely grown in Vietnam. 1 The dragon fruit has been reported to be a good source of vitamin C, calcium, and phosphorus in addition to being sweet and refreshing. 2
Origin and geographic scope The scientific name of the dragon fruit is derived from the Greek words hyle (woody), cereus (waxen), and undatus, which alludes to the wavy edges of its stems. 3 Although its origin is unknown, the dragon fruit is most likely a native of Central America. 4 Pitahaya is another name for it, as is pitaya roja in Central and northern South America. Other tall cacti species with flowering fruit may also go by the Spanish name pitahaya. 5 Over a century ago, the fruit was brought to Vietnam by the French. 6
According to a 2013 report, Vietnam is the world’s largest exporter of dragon fruit, accounting for 55% of the nation’s total fruit export sales.
7 However, other nations have also attempted to cultivate the fruit, including Thailand, Israel, the Philippines, Hawaii, northern Australia, and southern China. 8
Description It is a climbing cactus vine that thrives in dry environments. 9 Due to its epiphytic nature, it thrives on soil that contains a lot of organic matter. 10 Because the plant only produces blossoms at night, it is also frequently referred to as the “moonflower” or the “Lady of the Night.” The flowers are white and huge, measuring 20 cm or longer, and they only bloom for one night. 13 When in bloom, they have a bell-like form and smell good. In a single year, pitahaya trees can go through four to six fruiting cycles. It can be multiplied either through stem cuttings or seeds. 16
The dragon fruit has striking features, including vivid red, purple, or yellow skin variations and noticeable scales.
17 Oval, elliptical, or pearshape describe the fruit. The meat has a mildly sweet or occasionally slightly sour flavor. 18 The delicious black seeds are scattered throughout the meat, which is either white or red. 19
The orchid cacti, or epiphyllum, which are renowned for their enormous and magnificent blossoms, are related to the dragon fruit. The epiphyllum and pitahaya can cross-pollinate. 20
Application and potential Commonly consumed raw, the fruit is said to taste better when cold. 21 Additionally, it can be converted into a fruit sorbet or given as juice. 22 While syrup derived from the full fruit is used to color pastry and candies, the fruit itself can be used to flavor beverages. 23 You can prepare unopened flower buds similarly to vegetables. 24 According to legend, the dragon fruit lowers blood pressure and enhances vision. 25
Is dragon fruit from a cactus or a tree?
Despite being a member of the cactus family, dragon fruit is unlike the cacti you commonly see in the desert.
In actuality, dragon fruit is a subtropical cactus native to Central and South America, which means it does best in moderate, humid climates. Keeping the plant in temperatures only between 32 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is only possible in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, is necessary for effectively growing dragon fruit (parts of southern California and Florida).
You can effectively grow a dragon fruit plant inside in a pot if the weather is too chilly or warm for the fruit outside.
What kind of plant produces dragon fruit?
Originating in Central and South America, dragon fruit. Although we refer to this intriguing plant as a fruit, it is actually a cactus. Currently, dragon fruit is grown in Israel, Mexico, Central America, Asia, and the Americas.
Can you eat cacti with dragon fruit?
The health advantages of dragon fruit’s key components are numerous. It has a low cholesterol and fat content but is high in fiber, which helps with digestion. Due to its strong antioxidant content, it helps prevent aging and enhances cardiovascular health.
Yes, the pitaya plant can self-pollinate and has hermaphrodite blooms. Bats and moths are additional pollinators of the flowers. Cross-pollination is desired by fruit growers because it enables them to produce larger and tastier fruits.
Some kinds are not self-compatible, so a controlled hand-pollination is required, however time-consuming. The process of hand pollination involves plucking an anther from one flower and brushing it against the stigma of another to release pollen (7).
In the US, this cactus blooms from June to August during the summer. Once the flowers are pollinated, fruits follow and are available for harvesting after about a month.
A dragon fruit cactus’ entire fruit is edible. The fruit’s peel, or outer layer of scales, is slightly bitter in flavor but not poisonous.
Which cactus species produces dragon fruit?
A cactus with dragon fruit Originally from Central and South America, the Hylocereus is a vine-like cactus that is now widely grown throughout Southeast Asia for its tasty, vivid pink pitaya, often known as dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit is a member of what fruit family?
The significant tropical fruit Hylocereus spp., which is a member of the Cactaceae family, is full of vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Through morphological (34 quantitative and 26 qualitative features), biochemical (5 attributes), and molecular (14 ISSR primers) characterization, this study seeks to distinguish three dragon fruit species that are well adapted to Andaman and Nicobar Island. Morphological characterisation showed that there were many genetic variants present among them, particularly for fruit characteristics like peel and pulp color. Three Hylocereus species are being studied in this study, and three cladode features, including the number of spines (35), the length of areoles (mm), and its waxiness (weak or strong white waxy or light waxy), might be utilized to identify them. The pulp weight had the highest co-efficient of variation (percent), whereas the distance between the anthers and the stigma had the lowest (3.3). Fruit weight (g) and pulp weight (g) ranged from 26.5419.3 to 10.3258.8, respectively, with mean values of 204.8 and 125.3. Comparatively, fruit peels were found to have more phenol (71.3161.3) and flavonoid (26.6508.2) than fruit pulp (32.5130.0 and 45.0258.2), indicating a higher level of antioxidant potential. The pulp on DGF3 (33.8), DGF4 (55.9), and DGF3 (32.7), respectively, had the highest level of total carotenoids (g 100 g1), -carotene (g 100 g1), and xanthophyll (g g1), whereas the peel on DGF2 (24.3), DGF4 (18.5), and DGF2 (24.1), respectively. Peel extracts had a higher scavenging activity (55.681.2) than pulp extracts (36.075.3), according to DPPH-based measurements. Comparatively, greater ABTS-based scavenging activity (percent) than DPPH-based activity was discovered. Fourteen of the sixteen ISSR primers that were tested resulted in 178 reproducible amplified bands. The average number of amplified bands per primer was 12.71, ranging from 5 in UBC887 to 19 in UBC811. The observed percent polymorphism and the range of polymorphic bands were 113 and 20.092.8, respectively. The ISSR marker’s polymorphic information content ranged from 0.42 (UBC895) to 0.91. (UBC 856). Three distinct Hylocereus species were identified by cluster analysis based on geographic origin and pulp color, and two genotypes each shown genetic similarity of 52 percent (DGF1 and DGF3) and 76 percent (DGF2 and DGF4). The length of areoles in cladodes, the number of spines, and the color of the fruit’s pulp or peel were shown to be the most important characteristics for differentiating the three Hylocereus species. Genotypes discovered in the current study with high carotenoid and xanthophyll content (DGF4 and DGF2) may be of industrial significance for the development of nutraceutical products to address the vitamin- Future research should concentrate on a deficiency among tropical human populations.
Dragon fruit is a type of fruit.
The gorgeous tropical fruit known as dragon fruit, often called pitaya or the strawberry pear, is sweet and crisp. The plant from which the fruit is produced is actually a species of cactus belonging to the Hylocereus genus, which has roughly 20 different species. Dragon fruit is currently produced and consumed all over the world, having first gained popularity in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Despite having a pinkish-red skin and light green scales, this odd fruit is simple to prepare. It tastes great in fruit salads, it can be used to make delectable cocktails and sweets, and it makes a great, healthy snack all by itself.
What does dragon fruit have in common?
Depending on the genus, dragon fruit is sometimes referred to as pitaya, pitahaya, strawberry pear, and even night blooming cereus.
It is also known as paniniokapunahou in Hawaii, thang loy in Thailand, and pitahayah if it is Israeli.
Despite its widespread consumption today, dragon fruit is a native of Mexico, Central America, and South America. In the early 1800s, the French introduced it to Asia through Vietnam.
The popularity of dragon fruit is rising in the US, which is encouraging an increase in commercial production.
Around the world, from Asia and the Middle East to Central and South America, a variety of dragon fruit species are cultivated. The fruit, which has bright pink skin and white flesh, is mostly grown in Vietnam, although it is also grown in Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Significant quantities of a pink-skinned dragon fruit species with deep to light pink flesh are grown in both Nicaragua and Ecuador. A yellow-skinned variant with white flesh is also grown in Colombia and is grown in Ecuador. Seasonal producers include Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Costa Rica.
Australia and Israel are two other nations that produce pitaya for import and export.
Similar to kiwis, dragon fruit is frequently eaten raw, and the plant’s tiny bloom can be prepared for eating.
It is a well-liked component in fruit bars, jellies, juice, yogurt, and smoothies since it is high in protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. Red variations can be utilized as a natural colorant or dye.
Dragon fruit is related to cactus pears, but there are few important differences between the two fruits: first, pitaya seeds can be eaten, much like kiwifruit; and second, dragon fruit doesn’t usually have spines; instead, it has colorful protecting shoots that encircle the baseball-sized fruit.
Dragon fruit can have a variety of flesh colors, including white (with pink or yellow skin), hot pink or deep red, and can have small black seeds. The color of the flesh affects flavor; white dragon fruit frequently has a mild flavor, whereas darker, redder flesh may be sweeter and more juicy.
The best tropical fruit kinds to cultivate domestically are still unknown because they are a relatively newcomer to the U.S. market.
American Beauty, Armando, Bien Hoa Red, Bien Hoa White, Cebra, Colombiana, Delight, Haley’s Comet, Mexicana, Orejona, Physical Graffiti, Rosa, San Ignacio, Seoul Kitchen, Valdivia Roja, Vietnamese Giant, and Yellow Dragon are just a few of the colorful varieties being researched for the American market.
Perennial dragon fruit is a species of climbing cactus plant that thrives in tropical lowlands and has a lifespan of up to 20 years.
Long, fleshy, triangular stem segments that might grow on the semi-spiny plant may need to be clipped on a regular basis. A trellising system is required in commercial orchards to support the plant’s aerial roots and vertical growth.
Pitaya fruits should be harvested within a year, throughout the summer and into the fall (June to October). After the fruit sets, it can be harvested 30 to 50 days later.
The plant is a night bloomer with fragrant yellowish-green blooms that emerge in the early evening and wilt by dawn as a result of light and temperature.
The flowers can be pollinated by moths and bats, but depending on the variety, hand pollination may also be required.
Because of their drought tolerance, plants thrive in damp, warm climates with rich soil and frequently only require 25 to 50 inches of water per year.
However, uneven soil moisture might cause fruit to split or flower less, while an abundance of rain can cause flowers to drop and fruit to rot.
The right amount of sunlight is ideal for plants, but too much of it can harm stems when combined with low humidity or insufficient soil moisture. Fruit of lower quality and decreased output can result from little sunlight.
As plants are susceptible to cold but may recover from brief exposure to freezing temperatures, falling temperatures are also dangerous.
The majority of dragon fruit are collected between June and October, however in some areas, additional light from incandescent lamps might extend the season.
The plant continues to flower when it receives more light. It is recommended to hand-clip fruit during harvest when it is well-colored from yellow to pink to red, depending on the type.
The commercial production of this fruit in the United States is still very new, therefore study into pests and illnesses is underway.
Thrips are now only seen in Florida, however they can seriously harm the fruit’s exterior. The small bugs will leave a stippled pattern on fruit, which is mostly an aesthetic problem.
The Colombia, Nicaragua, and Mexico regions are frequently home to the leaf-footed bug, which can be a nuisance.
When left unchecked, aphids, ants, scale, and mealybugs can negatively impact productivity, and rodents, birds, and snails can obstruct growth and subsequent harvests. Australian farmers use netting to keep birds away from ripening fruit.
A calcium deficiency has been linked to a worsening of soft rot in Mexico, which can harm stems. When additional traumas like sunburn or other opportunistic illnesses are present, the root system is also damaged.
Reduced growth, such as no new shoots or flowers, larger stems, and a darkish-dull green tint, are possible effects of cactus virus X. There is currently no treatment, thus affected plants need to be eradicated.
Anthracnose, brown spot, canker, and fruit rot are some additional ailments and infections.
If exposed to temperatures between 41F and 43F, dragon fruit can be readily harmed by chilling injury, which results in withering, browning, and softening.
Once plucked, dragon fruit stops ripening; when properly cooled and kept, postharvest life is up to 4 weeks. Fruit will remain fresh for 4 to 5 days at room temperature.
Red dragon fruit prefers a storage temperature of 50°F, whereas yellow dragon fruit prefers 43°F, both with an ideal relative humidity of 85–90%.
Dragon fruit of the highest caliber will have firm meat and bracts, as well as a pleasing shape and vibrant color.