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Hylocereus undatus – Night Blooming Cereus, Dragon Fruit

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Scientific Name

Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) Britton & Rose

Common Names

Night Blooming Cereus, Pitaya, Dragon Fruit, Strawberry Pear, White-Fleshed Pitahaya, Belle of the Night, Moonlight Cactus, Queen of the Night, Red Pitaya, Honolulu Queen, Conderella Plant

Synonyms

Cereus undatus (basionym), Cereus tricostatus, Cereus trigonus var. guatemalensis, Hylocereus tricostatus, Hylocereus guatemalensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Hylocereeae
Genus: Hylocereus

Description

Hylocereus undatus is a sprawling or vining, terrestrial or epiphytic cactus. The stems are green, 3-winged, up to 16.5 feet (5 m) long and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. They climb by use of aerial roots and can reach up to 33 feet (10 m) or longer, growing on rocks and trees. Margins are horny and undulate with wings that are up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Spines on adult branches are 1 – 3, grayish-brown to black in color and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. The scented, nocturnal flowers are greenish-yellow or whitish, rarely rose-tinged with green outer tepals and bracts, up to 14 inches (35 cm) long and up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. The fruit is oblong to oval, up to 4.7 inches (12 cm) long and up to 3.5 inches (9 cm) thick.

Hylocereus undatus - Night Blooming Cereus Dragon Fruit

Photo via wikimedia.org

How to Grow and Care

Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly low-maintenance and hardy. Make sure they receive enough water without becoming waterlogged, especially during the summer, and fertilize them for best results. If the roots have become black or overly soft, the cactus could be experiencing root rot – cut away the affected parts and replant. Like all cacti, give them lots of direct sunlight, especially during the summer. Well-drained soil is best, and most Cereus perform well in a soil that contains some organic material… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cereus.

Origin

The native origin has never been resolved, but is likely from West Indies, Caribbean Basin, Southern Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica.

Links

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