The Overnight Sensation of the Dragon Fruit (Photo Gallery)

BY Cat Rooney TIMEOctober 18, 2013 PRINT

As well as being a entertaining plant to watch while it flowers and bears fruit, the Pitaya, or dragon fruit plant, is an easy cactus to grow. 

The fruit is exotic looking, with its bright outer casing running contrast to its inner speckled flesh. Yet, the large white blooming flowers, with their outer green tentacles, are even more surreal looking than the fruit. 

The flowers, which form the Pitaya’s fruit, bloom from May to the end of December. The cacti are incredible to watch grow before the emergence of their flower’s single-night blossoming.

Thirty days after one of their flowers have bloomed, the fruit will have been fully developed. If the fruit is a little soft to a gentle squeeze, it is ready to eat.

Dragon fruit tastes like a kiwi-pear mix. The flesh of the fruit is easy to reach by peeling away the outer casing or by scooping out the flesh. 

The fruit is great as a snack or a topping on ice cream, yogurt, pudding, or hot cereal. 

The cacti’s natural habitats include Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Central and South America. The plants can also thrive in subtropical areas such as southern California, Florida, and Hawaii. 

Like any other cactus, the Dragon Fruit plant can be grown indoors or outdoors. If grown outdoors, the cactus needs to be taken in when the weather begins cooling off in the evenings.

Don’t fret if you don’t have a green thumb to grow a Dragon Fruit plant as they are readily available in grocery stores and Asian markets. However, you would still miss out on the flower show.

Cat Rooney
Cat Rooney is a photographer based in the Midwest. She has been telling stories through digital images as a food, stock, and assignment photojournalist for Epoch Times since 2006. Her experience as a food photographer had a natural expansion into recipe developer in 2012, thus her Twitter handle @RecipeGirl007.
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