Monday, 28 January 2013

White Dragonfruit (Hylocereus undatus)

The Dragonfruit is said to have originated in Central America. It is now cultivated throughout the tropics. 

The Dragonfruit is obtained from the Nightblooming Cactus, a sprawling and creeping cactus. They are terrestrial or epiphytic and climb using aerial roots. They can reach of height of 10m or more growing on rocks and trees. The stem is green and 3-winged, ranging from a few cm to up to 5m long in mature plants. The entire stem is able to photosynthesize as it contained photosynthetic pigments. 

The large flowers are 25 to 30cm long and 15 to 17cm wide. They are white to pale yellow in colour. It is scented and nocturnal, only blooming at night and lasting just one night. In tropical climate, the cactus can have up to 4 to 6 flowering and fruiting cycles a year. In temperate climate the bloom in late spring to early summer. 

The fruit of the Nightblooming Cactus is called the Dragonfruit which is consumed. The dragonfruit is oblong to ovoid, about 6 to 12cm long and 4 to 9cm thicl. The rind is a purplish-reddish colour with fleshy green scales. The flesh is white and juicy and contains many small, edible seeds. It has a plain to sweet taste. 

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