Hylocereus extensus

Hylocereus extensus dragon fruit tree

Hylocereus extensus (also called H. extensus) is a species of flowering plant in the cactus family. This species is a cactus plant species first described by Salm-dyck and Dc., and was given its current name by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose. Pitahaya is part of the genus Hylocereus and the family of cactus plants.

Hylocereus extensus is a rarely cultivated epiphytic Cactus, previously classified in the genus Selenicereus.


A group of epiphytic or climbing plants with sturdy, strongly branched, usually three-sided, segmented stems that can grow up to 10 m long and have aerial roots. Areoles are a bit woolly, and spines are very short, few, or sometimes not there at all.

Plant with stems up to 15 mm in diameter, the ribs are wide, flat, Areola sparse, carrying 2-4 dark brown thorns. The flowers are large, the pericarpium and funnel are green, the outer petals are greenish-yellow, the inner ones are white. Most of the flowers are white and smell good. They bloom at night. Surprisingly, these huge flowers only stay open for a few hours on one night. With its large size and short life, a Hylocereus flower is a real treat to look at. Even so, plants that have been growing for a long time in warmer climates may put out many flowers over the course of a few nights.

Kingdom:  Plantae, plantes, planta, vegetal, plants
Division tracheophyta: Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision spermatophytina: Spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames
Family cactaceae: Cactus, cacti
Genus: Hylocereus (A. Berger) Britton & Rose – nightblooming cactus
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy, nocturnal
Flower Color: White
Suitable locations: Xeriscapic
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Other names H. extensus, Cyclosorus extensus (Blume)

Hylocereus is best known for making Dragon Fruit, which are large, strange fruits. These fruits are about the size of an orange and have green scales on their red skin. Fruits are round to elongated, large, fleshy, and edible. They are covered with wide, soft, flexible, and sharp scales. The seeds are about the size of a droplet and brown.

Distribution and habitat

Most plants in the genus Hylocereus grows in the shade, in dry or wet areas, or in rainforests. They are semi-epiphytic, which means they climb up trees with the help of aerial roots, or they grow on rocks from sea level to 2200 m.

Mostly growing in Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, near 450 m at altitude.

Together with other species previously also classified in the genus Selenicereus, it is a member of the newly established salmdyckia subgenus.

How to care

A Hylocereus extensus is a cactus that needs very little care. In order to insure that your dragonfruit remains healthy, you should water it once a week and only give it a small amount of water. Make sure the pot has good drainage, so the plant can dry out between waterings. Fertilize the plant every other month with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter, reduce watering to once every two weeks.

Hylocereus extensus dragon fruit


In conclusion, H.extensus is an excellent option for growing in the home garden. It is a fast-growing cactus that produces beautiful flowers and delicious fruit. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate a variety of conditions, making it a good choice for gardeners in all climates.


How fast does it grow?
Hylocereus extensus grows relatively quickly, reaching a height of around 3 meters in just a few years. The plant also has a long life span, making it a popular choice for landscaping.
What are the benefits of pitaya fruits?
The benefits of Hylocereus extensus include improved vision, stronger bones, and a healthy heart. Additionally, this cactus can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve circulation.
How tall does it grow?

These cacti can grow up to be a very large cactus, reaching heights of up to 25 feet.
Anna Gorelova
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