Hylocereus setaceus

Hylocereus setaceus dragon fruit tree

Hylocereus setaceus (also called Selenicereus setaceus, Cereus bifrons, Cereus hassleri, Cereus setaceus, Mediocactus hassleri, Mediocactus lindmanii, Mediocactus setaceus or Selenicereus rizzinii) is a type of plant in the Cactaceae family. It lives in subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, rocky shores, and sandy shores. The IUCN does not think it is in danger.


Selenicereus setaceus grows epiphytic or lithophytic with long, pendulous, light green, usually triangular (rarely quadrangular or pentagonal) shoots 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, slightly flared at the margins. From the slightly raised areoles, 2 to 3 centimeters apart, arise 2 to 4 conical, reddish spines that later turn brown and are 1 to 2 millimeters long.

The flowers, 25 to 30 centimeters long, are white with a yellowish base and greenish on the outside. The conspicuously humped pericarp is covered with somewhat felt-like wool and short spines. The flower tube is covered with glabrous scales. The edible fruits are ovoid and covered with some bristles. The initially green, strongly humped fruits turn red when ripe and are then almost unhumped.

It often grows on trees, but it can also grow on the ground. Needs soil that drains well and has a pH of 6 or less. Fruits that can be eaten raw. A sweet, white, white-fleshed pulp with a sweet, pleasant taste. The fruit is about 10 centimeters long and 6 centimeters wide.

Genus: Selenicereus
Plant habit:
Cactus / succulent
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Common name:Queen of the night, pitaya, pitahaya, dragon fruit, pitainha etc.
Life cycle: Perennial
Soil type:
Subtropical, tropical
Sun requirements:
Full sun to partial shade
When needed
USDA Hardiness Zone (°F):
13 (> 60 °F)
Plant form:1-12"+ tall, rooted plant
Soil pH preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Flower color: White
Bloom Size: Over 12"
Resistances: Humidity and
drought tolerant
Propagation:Cuttings and seeds
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger

Systematics, distribution and endangerment

Selenicereus setaceus is distributed in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina in lowlands up to 725 meters. The first description as Cereus setaceus was published in 1828 by Augustin-Pyrame de Candolle. Erich Werdermann (1892-1959) placed the species in the genus Selenicereus in 1933.

Selenicereus setaceus is classified as Least Concern (LC), i.e., not endangered, in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

In northeastern Brazil, many of the plants’ former homes have been destroyed, but it still has a large range and is seen often.

What is the plant’s habitat, uses and ecology?

This plant has become increasingly popular in recent years, both for its unique appearance and for its purported health benefits. The Hylocereus setaceus plays an important role in the ecosystem, not only because it provides food and shelter for animals, but also because it helps to stabilize the soil.

It is found in habitats such as rainforests, dry forests, and plantations. H. setaceus has been used for ornamental purposes, and is also cultivated for its fruit. Habitat and ecology H. setaceus can be found in regions where there is a lot of rainfall, and it grows in shaded areas. This plant tends to live in areas that are fertile and moist, which means that it needs lots of water.

The cactus has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The fruit of the cactus is edible and also can be used to make juice, jam, and candy. The flowers of the cactus are also edible and can be used to make a tea that is said to have medicinal properties.


Hylocereus is a group of cacti that grow on other plants. They are often called night-blooming cacti. Honolulu Queen, Queen of the Night, and Princess of the Night are also common names for this dragonfruit. They can hang, climb, or grow on other plants. The flower on this cactus is white with a yellow center.

Between July and October, they have flowers. If left to grow, it can climb up trees to 15 feet or more and branch out in all directions, filling the trees with fragrant flowers that bloom at night and can be as wide as 4 inches and as long as 8 inches.

Hylocereus setaceus

The bloom is such a show that many enthusiasts and hobbyists make it an annual event. They invite like-minded friends, family members, and even passersby to join them with lawn chairs and drinks to watch the Queen of the Night wake up from her slumber in a cloud of enticing scent. Some plants even have a cycle that is based on the moon, where buds open when there is a full moon.

This pitahaya does have thorns, but they are placed in a way that makes the plant easy to hold. All in all, this is one of the easiest cacti to grow and one of the most beautiful ones as well. Enjoy!


What are the best ways to take care of a Hylocereus setaceus plant?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to take care of a dragon fruit plant may vary depending on the specific growing conditions required by the plant. However, some general tips on how to take care of a pitahaya plant include providing the plant with plenty of sunlight and water, and fertilizing it regularly.
What are the requirements for growing Hylocereus setaceus?
Pitaya is a tropical cactus that needs a lot of sunlight and warmth to grow. It also needs well-draining soil and regular watering.
What is the average lifespan of a Hylocereus setaceus?
The average lifespan of a pitainha is about 10 years.
What are the benefits of Selenicereus setaceus?
Cereus setaceus, also known as the dragon fruit, has a number of benefits that include its ability to improve heart health, boost the immune system, and help with weight loss. Additionally, dragon fruit is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against free radicals and cancer.
Michael Gorelov
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Exotic fruits and vegetables
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