Dragonfruit plant Selenicereus megalanthus

Dragonfruit plant Selenicereus megalanthus dragon fruit tree

Selenicereus Megalanthus (also called Hylocereus Megalanthus, Mediocactus megalanthus, Cereus megalanthus or golden dragon fruit) is a type of cactus in the genus Selenicereus. It is native to northern South America, where its fruit is called pitahaya / pitaya. The species is grown commercially for its yellow fruit, but it is also a beautiful climbing vine with perhaps the biggest flowers of all cacti.

The yellow fruit has thorns, unlike the red dragon fruits like S. undatus and S. monacanthus. It is often called “yellow dragon fruit”, “yellow pitahaya”, “kirin fruit”, or “yellow pitaya.”

A climbing or hanging cactus with fleshy stems that can be as short as a few inches or as long as 20 feet (in mature plants). The fruits are smaller than the usual dragon fruit and have sharp spikes on them until they are ready to eat. Prefers some sun and can handle temperatures as low as 32F, but usually doesn’t like to see temperatures below 40F. The vines can also grow in very hot weather.

People say that it tastes better than most cactus fruits. It is also used to make drinks and baked goods taste better.

Description

Stems can lie flat (procumbent), climb (scandent), or hang down (hanging) (pendent). Stems are usually only 1.5 cm thick and produce aerial roots. They have 3 ribs, slightly undulating margins, white areoles, 1–3 yellowish spines 2–3 mm long, brittle hairs on new growth, and a green epidermis.

  1. Etymology: Megalanthus means “big flower” in Greek. In the cactus family, this species has some of the largest flowers;
  2. Fruit: ovoid, tuberculate, spiny, yellow skin (sometimes red/orange when hybridized), black seeds, white (sometimes pink when hybridized) flesh with a pleasant, mildly sweet taste. It is much smaller than red pitayas;
  3. Flowers bloom at night and are funnel-shaped and 32–38 cm long; pericarpel (hypanthium) is ovoid or slightly globose, tubercles are large and flattened, with felt-like and spiny areoles subtended by small bracteoles; receptacle is long; outer tepals are long, green, and pointed; inner tepals are 10 cm long, 3.5 cm wide, white, and broader; stamens are many;
  4. Pollination: Yellow pitayas don’t need to be pollinated (meaning no cross-pollination is required).
Name Yellow Dragonfruit
Scientific Name Hylocereus megalanthus
Kingdom Plantae (Plants)
Subkingdom Viridiplantae (Green plants)
Infrakingdom Streptophyta (Land plants)
Superdivision Embryophyta
Division Tracheophyta (Vascular plants, tracheophytes)
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Caryophyllales
Family Cactaceae Juss. (Cactus, cacti)
Genus Hylocereus (A. Berger) Britton & Rose (Nightblooming cactus)
Species Hylocereus megalanthus (K. Schum. ex Vaupel) Ralf Bauer
Native Native to Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela
Plant Growth Habit Terrestrial or epiphytic cactus vine
Growing Climate Tropical and subtropical
Stem Robust, green, 1.5 cm thick
Flower White, funnelshaped, 32-38 cm long
Fruit shape & size Ovoid, tuberculate, spiny
Fruit weight 200-300 g
Fruit color Yellow
Flesh color White
Fruit skin Thick
Flavor/aroma Sweet, tropical
Fruit Taste Sweet
Seed Black

Uses in cooking:

  1. Raw, the fruit is eaten;
  2. It gives baked goods and drinks their taste;
  3. Wine and juice are made from fruit;
  4. People eat flowers or make tea from them;
  5. The meat is used to make jams, marmalades, and jellies;
  6. Add it to fruit salads.

Cultivation

  • General appearance: crawling liana-like cactus;
  • Lighting: sunny to semi-shaded, tolerates shade;
  • Watering: moderate, as it is a succulent;
  • Soil: rich in organic matter plus sand.

Yellow Dragonfruit is endemic to Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, and Ecuador. It is grown on a small scale for commercial purposes in Columbia. Fruits are sent to Europe and Canada. Acanthocereus pitahaya, Acanthocereus Colombians, Selenicereus megalanthus, and Hylocereus triangularis are other types of cactus fruit crops that are sold as yellow pitaya.

The species is native to Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

This plant is easy to grow and grows quickly. It needs a lot of humus in the compost and enough water in the summer. In the winter, it shouldn’t be kept in temperatures below 8 °C (46.5 °F). It can grow in semi-shade, but full sunlight is best. Extra light in early spring makes plants start to grow. From June to October, the plant blooms. The plant has the potential to get very big.

Anna Gorelova
Anna Gorelova
The largest yellow dragonfruit without thorns in the world comes from a plant called "Australian Gold." The inside of the fruit is white, and it tastes sweet like a kiwi. The branches are thick and dark green, and they can handle big changes in weather pretty well. "Australian Gold" is self-fertile, and its fruits weigh between 0.75 and 1.5 pounds (340 to 680 grams).

In its natural habitat, the yellow pitaya grows in forests near rivers. It does well in tropical and subtropical climates where it doesn’t freeze or frost. The best temperatures for growth, according to early estimates from native areas, are between 18 and 25° C. It can handle some shade and may be hurt by too much sun, even though it grows best in sunny places in its native country. Like other pitayas, it can grow in a wide range of soils as long as they drain well. This includes soils that are calcareous and only slightly salty.

In nature, the pitaya grows in dry tropical climates. Excessive rain causes the buds to fall off and the fruit to rot. It tolerates brief frosts. Maximum temperature is about 40 C. The epiphyte is an epiphyte, so this plant has aerial roots, which it uses to find nutrients in various cracks where organic matter settles and accumulates. It propagates by stem cuttings. Flowers bloom at night (only blooms one night).

Pitahaya plants can produce fruit up to 4-6 times a year.

The fruit of the pitaya is very brightly colored (red, yellow, pink) and looks quite unique. Each fruit weighs about 150-600 g and contains many small edible seeds. The color of the flesh varies from white to shades of red. The fruit ovaries appear within 30-50 days of flowering, with 5-6 harvest cycles (May to November) per year. Freshly cut flowers and stems are used to prepare medicine that acts as an antispasmodic on the cardiovascular system and stimulates blood circulation.

Yellow dragon fruit quick facts
Name: Yellow Dragonfruit
Scientific Name: Hylocereus megalanthus
Origin Native to Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela
Colors Yellow
Shapes Ovoid, tuberculate
Flesh colors White
Taste Sweet

How to grow

If you’re looking for an exotic and interesting fruit to add to your garden, consider growing yellow pitahaya. The best time to plant the cactus is in the spring when the weather is warm. Make sure to water the cactus regularly and fertilize it every month. The dragon fruit will start to ripen in late summer or early fall.

Here are some tips for growing yellow dragon fruit:

  1. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil;
  2. Plant the vine late spring or early summer;
  3. Water regularly, but don’t over water – the soil should be moist but not wet;
  4. Maintain a healthy soil pH by using lime or sulfur;
  5. Fertilize in spring with fish emulsion, compost tea, or organic liquid fertilizer.

Sowing instructions

Propagation:

Seeds / Cuttings

Sowing Time:

all year round

Sowing Depth:

Just sprinkle on the surface of the substrate + gently press

Sowing Mix:

Coir or sowing mix + sand or perlite

Germination temperature:

about 25-28 °C

Location:

Bright + keep constantly moist not wet

Germination Time:

2-4 Weeks

Watering:

Water regularly during the growing season

The storage experiment

To find out what happens to yellow pitahaya after harvest, 60 kilograms of fruit were taken: 30 kg in a room with a temperature of 19 °C, and the other 30 kg in a refrigerator with a temperature of 8 °C. The same thing was done with 60 kg of fruit picked at ripening stage 5. Physical properties of stage 3 fruits didn’t change much over time, but chemical properties changed as the fruit ripened.

When fruits were kept at 8 °C, they lasted longer (19 days). But after this time, 50 percent of the fruits showed signs of damage from the cold. The pH of fruits stored at 8 and 19 °C went up, and the ripening index went from 3 to 5 to 5 to 6 by the end of storage. At 19 °C and 8 °C, the titratable acid also dropped from 2.54 percent to 1.50 percent and from 3.02 percent to 1.29 percent in stage 3. At 19 and 8 °C, the percentage of water in stage 3 fruits dropped by 3% and 1.1%, respectively.

Dragonfruit plant Selenicereus megalanthus

At 19 and 8 °C, the percentage of water in stage 5 fruits dropped by 2.5% and 0.5%, respectively. °Brix acted in a strange way. Fruits picked at ripening stage 5 didn’t have any important physical or chemical changes, and they didn’t last as long. This was partly because Fusarium sp. caused fruit basal end-rot, which made the bottom of the fruit rot.

So, it is recommended that fruit be picked at the third stage of ripening and kept at temperatures below room temperature (19 °C) and above 8 °C.

Health benefits of yellow dragon fruit

Detoxifies body: the fruit has a lot of fiber, which is good for the digestive system because it gets rid of the toxins that have built up in the body. It also makes organs and the liver’s jobs easier and keeps your health at its best. It is good for pregnant women and people who are constipated.

Helps in the formation of red blood cells: it has a lot of iron, which is important for making red blood cells and can help people who have anemia. Red blood cells carry a lot of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus in the womb. Pregnant women need to eat pitahaya to make sure they get enough of these things.

Heart and artery health: dragonfruit is a great source of monounsaturated fats, which lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure by lowering bad cholesterol levels and raising good cholesterol levels.

Boost your immune system: it has a lot of antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage and lower the risk of cancer and other health problems. It keeps free radicals from doing damage that could lead to early aging and diseases that come with getting older.

It has 3 times as much Vitamin C as a carrot.

It helps the body get rid of heavy metals and other toxins, helps cells heal, and makes the body better able to deal with stress.

Reduces swelling: seeds have Omega-3 fats, which protect organ systems from bacterial and fungal infections and autoimmune diseases. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties help the body make more white blood cells, which fight off toxins. It speeds up the healing of cuts and bruises by making cells grow back faster.

Make you prettier: antioxidants, vitamins, monounsaturated fats, enzymes, minerals, and fiber are all very important for keeping your skin and body healthy.

Dragon fruit is not good for you if you eat too much of it. Fructose is bad for your health in large amounts. If you eat too much of it, your urine and poop will be slightly pink.

Good for your health:

  • Helps people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar;
  • Free radicals can cause cancer, but dragon fruit stops them from happening;
  • Helps keep skin moist and smooth, and it lowers levels of bad cholesterol;
  • Helps increase your appetite;
  • Because it has protein, pitahaya can speed up the body’s metabolism;
  • Makes digestion better and cuts down on fat;
  • Is good for the eyes and helps keep them healthy;
  • Helps the bones and teeth get stronger;
  • Helps in tissue development;
  • Can help you remember things;
  • Helps cuts and bruises heal faster.

Buying and storing tips

While dragon fruit can be found in some grocery stores, it can be a little more difficult to find than other fruits. When purchasing dragon fruit, look for fruits that are smooth with no blemishes and have a bright, yellow skin. Dragon fruit can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How to eat

The fruit can be eaten fresh or used in smoothies, salads, or desserts. The golden fruit has a very hard outer skin, which needs to be peeled before eating. Here are some tips for eating dragon fruit:

  1. Cut the dragon fruit in half with a sharp knife;
  2. Scoop out the white flesh with a spoon;
  3. Eat the dragon fruit fresh or use it in smoothies, salads, or desserts.

Conclusion

Definitely one of God’s miracles! Pitaya Fruit, also called Pitaya Fruit or Dragon Fruit, is one of the most delicious and healthy exotic fruits. It is a favorite of many, especially those who come from Asia. It has a light, sweet taste, an intense shape and color, and beautiful flowers, among other things. This beautiful fruit is not only tasty and refreshing, but it also has a lot of important minerals and nutrients.

Round fruits that are often red and have large scales. The thin skin wraps around a large mass of white or red pulp that tastes sweet and small black seeds. Pitahaya have fleshy stems that can be as short as a few inches or as long as 20 feet (in mature plants). Flowers are fancy and pretty, and many closely related species are grown as garden plants.

Once only available in expensive restaurants, it is now becoming increasingly popular both fresh and cooked for garnish. Pitaya is served chilled, cut in half. The pulp can be eaten with a spoon along with the seeds as a kiwi.

Be sure to try to grow this wonderful plant. You will not regret it!

FAQ

What does yellow dragon fruit taste like?
Yellow Dragon fruit has a crisp, juicy texture and a sweet, tropical flavor with hints of flowers and no acidity.
Is yellow pitaya healthy?
These great cactus fruits are very healthy. They are a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, among other things. Has a lot of fiber. Contains a fair amount of protein.
What's the difference between red and yellow dragon fruit?
The yellow and red dragon fruits have very different tastes. The yellow pitaya is sweet, has big seeds, and smells like mangosteen. About 20 to 25 percent of the fruit is made up of sugar. Most red dragon fruit is sweet. About 15% of the fruit is sugar, and the seeds are small.
What is yellow dragonfruit good for?
It has more calcium than the red-skinned pitaya and is a good source of fiber and protein. Iron, vitamins A and C, and niacin are all found in yellow dragon fruit. Antioxidants, like Vitamins C and A, are good for you. Minerals like iron, potassium, niacin, and magnesium are found in it.
How do you eat yellow dragonfruit?
Put the pitahaya on a clean board for cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut it in half down the middle of its length. Use a spoon to get between the skin and the meat (like you might do for an avocado or kiwi). Scoop out the meat, and then do the same thing with the other half.

Michael Gorelov
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Exotic fruits and vegetables
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