Thursday, 4 March 2010
Dragon fruits are from the family Cactaceae, of subfamily Cactoideae, of tribe Hylocereeae. They are mostly epiphytes or hemi-epiphytes, which means they grow upon another plants non-parasitically.
They are adapted to extremely arid or semi-arid hot environments, as well as tropical environments. Their stems have adapted to become photosynthetic and succulent, while the eaves have become the spines.
Most members of Cactaceae family are nocturnal blooming
Hylocerous undatus – White Dragon fruit
Its origin is uncertain, but somewhere in South America.
The flowers are 25 – 30cm long, 15 – 17 cm wide, nocturnal, scented, greenish yellow or whitish in colour.
The fruits are oblong to ovoid, 6 – 12 cm long, 4 – 9 cm thick, red, with white pulp.
Hylocereus costaricensis – Purple Dragon fruit
Native to Central America and northwestern
South America. Its named after Costa
Rica where it was first discovered.
The flowers are 22 – 30 cm long, strongly perfumed,
Fruits are broadly ovate to globose, brightly magenta, purple pulpa.
The fruits contain indicaxanthin, an type of betalain, a plant pigmant also present in beets, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Hylocereus setaceus – Red Dragon fruit
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay.
Fruit red with red pulpa.
Hylocereus megalanthus – Yellow Dragon fruit
Native to northern
South America. The name megalanthus, in Greek, means
The flowers are nocturnal, 32 – 38 cm long, white in colour.
The fruits are ovoid, yellow with white pulpa.