Some types stand out not just because of how they look but also because of what they offer. Selenicereus undatus, commonly called the Dragon Fruit Cactus, is one such plant. The cactus is impressive with its sprawling branches and nighttime flowers, but what grabs people’s interest is the fruit it produces – the dragon fruit. If you are familiar with these fruits’ flavors, you know how wonderful they taste! This post is merely to introduce this plant as a member of the cactus family, not to tell how you can export this fruit in tons 🙂
The Dragon Fruit Cactus originally came from Central America but has now spread to tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. It does well in climates that are not too extreme, and it’s commonly cultivated on trellises or used as an ornamental plant on trees. Dragon fruit’s unusual appearance has a unique role in stories and myths, particularly in Asian cultures. Because of its bright colors and exciting textures, it’s a favored ingredient in various dishes, including fruit salads, smoothies, desserts, and cocktails.
Selenicereus undatus is recognized by its long, creeping stems stretching for several meters (up to 20 feet ~ 6 meters). These stems are segmented ribbed, displaying a greenish tint and featuring small spines. However, what truly stands out are its flowers, often called “moonflowers.” These blossoms open at night, are sizable, white, and emit a delightful fragrance, glowing in the moonlight.
This plant produces a fruit known as dragon fruit or pitaya. The fruit is oval or pear-shaped, boasting a vivid pink or sometimes white outer skin covered with large, leaf-like scales, giving it a dragon-like appearance. Inside, the flesh is dotted with tiny black seeds and can vary in color—white, pink, or red—depending on the specific variety. Its flavor is a sweet and subtle fusion. I wonder whether I can mix kiwi and pear in a blended drink to see how it goes. But since this fruit exists, there is no need to do that.
Nutritional and Health Benefits
The dragon fruit doesn’t just win points for its striking appearance; it’s nutritious. Rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, the fruit has many benefits, like boosting the immune system, promoting gut health, and potentially combating chronic diseases. The seeds, rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, have heart-healthy properties. Last but not least, the taste of it is a must-try. I don’t know how many times I have to mention this, but you should it this fruit.
Propagation Of Selenicereus undatus
This plant is totally propagateable. For gardeners and commercial growers, Selenicereus undatus presents an opportunity. The plant is typically propagated from cuttings, which can grow rapidly when planted in appropriate soil. Because it originates from tropical regions, it needs a steady supply of warmth. This makes it an excellent option for greenhouses in colder areas.
I am not a farmer, so there is no way I will give a guide about how to grow this plant to get enough fruits to export efficiently. But as a food lover, I suggest you try to the taste of it,
The Selenicereus undatus, famous for its flowers that bloom at night and its tasty fruits, adds an exotic flair to the world of plants. To be honest, I am a big fan of its fruit, though it’s not cheap (for me).
To continue your exploration of the Selenicereus genus, there are a few suggestions below:
Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City
Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!