Hylocereus undatusDragon Fruit, Pitaya
Description: Hylocereus undatus is a sprawling or vining, terrestrial or epiphytic cactus. They climb by use of aerial roots and can reach a height 10 meters or more growing on rocks and trees. They are very variable and closely related to Selenicereus.
Flowers: Flowers are ornate, fragrant and beautiful 25-35 cm long by 30 cm across , white with green outer tepals and bracts.
Flowering phenology: It bloom only at night, and usually the flower last just one night, in tropical climate the plants can have up to 4-6 flowering/fruiting cycles per year. In temperate climate they bloom In late spring to early summer
Fruit: If pollinated the Hylocereus produce edible red fruits with white pulpa up to 12 cm long.
Cultivation: Hylocereus undatus grows best in dry, tropical or subtropical climates, it need full sun to partial shade. Shade is sometimes provided in hot climates. The plants aren’t usually too picky as to soil type, but because of their epiphytic nature, it is recommended to grow them in well-drained soil mix that is supplemented with high amounts of organic material. During the growing season (March-August), the plants are watered on a regular basis, making sure that they never dry out completely. They are fertilized on a monthly basis with a balanced fertilizer during this period. In late August, water is restricted to about once a week until January. Night temperatures at this time should be about 10° C. In January or February, watering is stopped for a period of 4 weeks to aid in flower formation. In March, regular watering is resumed and the plant will flower in 6 to 8 weeks. Will tolerate temperatures to 45° C, and short periods of frost, but prolonged cold will damage or kill the plant.
Species: H. undatus
Origin and habitat
Hylocereus undatus is lithophytic or hemiepiphytic. It is widely distributed through the tropics in cultivation. Like all true cacti, the genus originates in the Americas, but the precise origin of the species H. undatus is uncertain and it may be a hybrid. Hylocereus undatus is a sprawling or vining, terrestrial or epiphytic cactus. They climb by use of aerial roots and can reach a height 10 meters or more growing on rocks and trees. The genus is very variable and closely related to Selenicereus.