Hylocereus undatus is a plant from the Cactaceae family. Its fruit, also known as dragon fruit (in English Dragon Fruit) is called Pitahaya or Pitaya.
The pulp inside the fruit is purplish red with very many and very small black seeds, which are edible. The pulp has a soft consistency and has a sweet and delicate taste and a pleasant scent.
It is a fruit rich in mineral salts. The fruit pulp is sometimes compared to that of kiwifruit due to the black, crunchy seeds. The pulp is slightly sweet and has low calories. The seeds have a rich taste and are rich in lipids. Dragon fruit is also used for alcoholic beverages, such as “Dragon’s Blood Punch” and “Dragotini”. The flowers are edible.
The cactaceae of the genus Hylocereus are native to Mexico and subsequently introduced in other areas of Central America and the world. They are grown in eastern and southern Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and are also found in Okinawa, Hawaii, Israel, North Australia, Southern China and Cyprus. Such introductions were probably made by Europeans returning from the new world.
Plants can withstand temperatures of up to 40 ° C and short periods of frost, but they do not survive long exposure to freezing temperatures. Hylocereus has adapted to living in dry tropical climates with a moderate amount of rainfall. Dragon fruit ripens on the plant about 30-45 days after flowering and can sometimes have 5-6 crop cycles per year.
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