Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit Flowering

This epiphytes plant is a South American cactus. The natives there commonly called it "Pitaya". In Asia, it is called the "Dragon Fruit". The Chinese also call it "Paw Wong Fa Kor".

The cultivar that is grown commercially in South East Queesnland and Northern New South Wales, is the Hylocereus Polyrhizus. The fruit has red flesh and is a self pollinator.

The ones commonly seen growing enormously high on gum trees in every corner of Queesland is the Hylocerius undatus. The fruit has white flesh and needs a pollinator to bear fruit. The H.polyrhizus (top-left) is one good pollinator. So if you have one of these fruitless cactus in your backyard, plant a pollinator next to it. There is also a white flesh variety that sets fruit by itself.

Both type of cultivars have red a fruit and a white flower, with a bit of yellow tint in the centre and the sepals of the flowers.

The red flesh cultivar has a better flavour and sweetness than the white flesh variety. Each fruit can weigh up to 600mg. It has a firm texture and watermelon like taste. The many tiny poppy like seeds are eaten with the pulp, which will give you extra goodness. The Chinese use this flower in their cooking, especially in soups.

This hardy plant will grow in any soil condition as long as the ground in not water log. It will climb onto anything that can hold its weight. I use old tyres, old tree stumps, trellis and scrap cars. It even climbs up gum trees!

This plant can bear fruit throughout summer and autumn. After flowering, the fruit will ripen in four weeks. I know of no insects that attack this fruit. Therefore there is no need to spray or wrap the fruit. This cactus will fruit within two to three years of planting.

You can email me for more information.

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