Costa Rican Dragon Fruit

Costa Rican Dragon Fruit


Hylocereus costaricensis (Costa Rica Nightblooming Cactus)

Hylocereus costaricensis (Costa Rica Nightblooming Cactus) is an intriguing cactus for a variety of reasons. Even though it is ground…

Costa Rica Red Dragon Fruit

Hylocereus costaricensis Red-fleshed Pitahaya Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Core eudicots Order: Caryophyllales Family: Cactaceae Genus: Hylocereus Species: H. costaricensis Binomial name Hylocereus costaricensis (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose Synonyms Cereus trigonus var. costaricensis


Costa Rican Red Dragon fruit. Beautiful bright magenta red fruit growing on flowering cactus vines. Stem scandent, 1-3 (-10) cm wide, usually very thick ribs 3 (-4), margins straight to shallowly scallop-lobed internodes 2-3.5 x 0.1-0.2 cm often folded, areoles on prominences, bearing dense, short wool and (1-) 3-6 (-9) short, dark spines 2–4 mm, hairs 2, often bristle-like, soon dropping epidermis grayish green, +- glaucous in fresh material. Flowers funnel-shaped, 22–30 cm long, strongly perfumed, young buds globular cylindric-ovoid, ca 4 cm long, bracteoles narrow, foliaceous, numerous, imbricate, 1–2 cm long receptacle stout, 10–15 cm, throat obconic, 6 cm in wide at the orifice, bracteoles foliaceous, persistent, particularly imbricating towards the base, green with purple margins tepals 11–15 cm, the outer greenish yellow, the inner white stigma lobes ca. 12, not forked ovary covered with large, broadly to narrowly triangular, overlapping bracteoles, 0.5–3 cm. Fruit broadly ovate to globose, bright magenta, pupla purple seeds pear-shaped, black, ca 10mm. A super antioxidant fruit considered a super food.


The vine-like epiphytic pitahaya-producing cacti of the genus Hylocereus are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Currently, they are also cultivated in East Asian and Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and more recently Bangladesh.[1][2] They are also found in Okinawa, Hawaii, Israel, northern Australia, southern China[3] and in Cyprus. The fruit was probably introduced by Europeans who brought it from the New World.[4] In the case of Taiwan, the fruit was brought in by the Dutch.[5] Hylocereus blooms only at night the large white fragrant flowers of the typical cactus flower shape are among those called "moonflower" or "Queen of the Night". Sweet pitahayas have a creamy pulp and a delicate aroma. It is also grown as an Ornamental plant, used in gardens as a flowering vine and a house plant indoors. Guatemala to northeast Peru. Dry forest and coastal areas, 0–1400 m altitude and nestled precariously on rocky Costa Rica Pacific coast cliffs.


delicious, highly antioxidant wild fruit is magenta inside. Peel and eat, cubed, frozen, seedless or with seeds. Seeds may be crushed and eaten, highly nutritious. An easily cultivated, fast growing epiphyte or xerophyte. Needs a compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer. It should not be kept under 10°C (50°F) in winter. Can be grown in semi-shade or full sun. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding. Flowers in summer or autumn. This fruit is one of the few to have indicaxanthin, a betalain, a type of plant pigment antioxidant. To prepare a pitaya for consumption, the fruit is cut open to expose the flesh. The fruit's texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds. The flesh, which is eaten raw, is mildly sweet and low in calories. The seeds are eaten together with the flesh, have a nutty taste and are rich in lipids,[13] but they are indigestible unless chewed. The fruit is also converted into juice or wine, or used to flavour other beverages. The flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea. The skin is not eaten, and in farm-grown fruit it may be polluted with pesticides.[citation needed] Ingestion of significant amounts of red-fleshed dragon fruit (such as Costa Rican Pitaya) may result in a harmless reddish coloration of the urine (pseudohematuria) and of the faeces.[14] Several of the Padres who missionized Baja California recorded an unusual form of consumption of pitaya that is also shared in some O'odham stories from southern Arizona. It is called the "second harvest" of pitaya seeds. With the scarcity of fruits in their lands, the pitaya was such a prized fruit that once it was eaten, the natives would wait for their own excrement to dry, then break it apart separating the pitaya seeds. These seeds would be ground into a flour and eaten again, giving the pitaya's "second harvest" its name. Interestingly, the O'odham name for the Milky Way translates as "the second harvest of pitaya."[15]

Growing Dragon Fruits: Best Varieties, Planting Guide, Care, Problems and Harvest

Craig Taylor

Craig is a self-sufficiency gardener who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. He has six vegetable gardens, a 7-meter glass house, and 35-tree orchard that provide food for his family. All spray-free. He is a prepper who likes strange plants and experiment with heritage plants to save seeds.

Dragon fruits are a wonderfully tasty fruit that you’ll be eager to start growing yourself once you try it.

You may have seen dragon fruit in the store and wondered what the heck it was or how to use it. It’s an odd-looking fruit that looks like a spiky, pinkish-red baseball.

The cactus-type plant does well in dry, warm climates, and it doesn’t require much in the way of care, except for lots of heat and a little water.

If you want to add the intriguing dragon fruit to your home garden, we’ll show you all you need to know.


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This slightly larger variety of passion fruit has a more durable, yellow skin and is mainly used for making juice. When sliced in two, its interior reveals a bright orange, pulpy nectar filled with edible seeds. If you'd like to try eating it straight out of the shell, make sure to sprinkle some sugar on top to temper the tart, acidic flavor.

Hylocereus Species, Costa Rican Night Blooming Cactus, Purple Dragon Fruit, Strawberry Pear Cactus


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:


Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Oct 21, 2009, CostaRica from Guayabo de Bagaces, Guanacaste,
Costa Rica (Zone 10b) wrote:

We have this plant growing on top of a rock wall. Very interesting to watch the development of the bloom.The blooms start to open here about 8pm
Fruit is delicious! Never watered or fed even during prolonged dry season.
Not: the bloom only lasts 8-9 hours not a few day as noted in a post.

On Jun 9, 2008, 2ndChance from Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This cactus grows great in full blazing sun with little to no water. Triangular stock with large spines. Upward climbing habit will wind around anything. Blooms at night year-round. Blooms 2-3 consecutive nights. Faint scent to my nose.

On May 6, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

aggressive, but very attractive tree climber. roots into trunks. Can be an epiphyte. Supposedly has great blooms, but never been to the botanical gardens at night, so not sure if I will ever see them. Square sided robust green plant.

Watch the video: Top 5 Donts in growing dragon fruit. My own experience