Dragon Fruit serves as the common name for any of several species of cacti. It remains generally believed that these plants evolved as native to Central America and parts of Asia. In actuality, they originally evolved in Mexico.
European explorers later transported the plant to Europe, and then to Asia. Dragon Fruit varieties now occur in dozens of countries and on numerous islands.
These species of cacti rank among those rare few that blooms only at night. The flowers typically show white and grow comparatively large in size.
Dragon Fruit Varieties and Cultivation
Several varieties of Dragon Fruit currently exist. Each of these remains distinguished by the different colored flesh of the fruit of the plant. These varieties include, white, red, and yellow.
The variety possessing the white flesh remains by far the one most commonly seen and consumed. The fruits typically weigh between 0.33-2.2 lb (0.15-1 kg), depending upon the variety.
The blooms wilt very quickly after opening. Being night blooming in nature, they principally depend on bats and moths for pollination.
Depending on conditions, the Dragon Fruit blooms between 3-6 times per year. Fruits typically develop as many times as blooms do.
Dragon Fruit Consumption and Uses
Many people consider the texture of the fruit of the Dragon Fruit to be rather similar to the kiwifruit. This happens due to the fact that the seeds grow tiny and crunchy.
The flesh stays low in calories and possesses a slightly sweet taste. The seeds develop very rich in lipids, and they must be chewed. If not chewed they stay indigestible for humans. The skin also cannot be digested.
The flowers themselves often get used for making tea. While not edible, the skin of the Dragon Fruit contains organic compounds currently being studied for possible cancer-fighting properties.