Hylocereus stenopterus and Hylocereus guatemalensis are the parents of the Asunta 3 Dragon Fruit. This type of plant also has a gene for the species undatus. Asunta 3 is the third copy in the series of games called Asunta. The first two Asunta sorts, Asunta 1 and #2, had paler flesh.
Asunta 3 (H.Stenopterus x H.Guatemalensis hybrid) has a beautiful, unique flower, and the fruit inside is purple and tastes like grapes. When the plant is young, the fruit may have pink-colored flesh until it grows up. This type of dragon fruit is rare and should be in any serious collection of dragon fruits.
Asunta 3 Purple grows very quickly, just like H. guatemalensis. Growth is a heart-shaped rib with three sides that is bright green and has tiny spins on it.
|Peel color:||Skin that is green to yellow|
|Flesh color:||Pink, magenta-purple|
|Mature height:||4 - 10 ft.|
|Sun:||Full to part sun|
|Hardiness:||Around 30 degrees|
|Water:||Low-medium (1-4 times weekly during dry months when established)|
|Pollination:||Needs to be cross-pollinated|
|Growth rate:||4 out of 5|
|Fruit production:||4 out of 5|
|Flavor:||5 out of 5|
|Home planting:||4 out of 5|
|Commercial planting:||4 out of 5|
The flower is about the size of a fist, and its inner petals are purple. The edges of the petals are light pink, and the tips are white. The flower bud is just as beautiful as the flower itself. In Louisiana, the flower blooms at night and closes in the morning.
Compared to other types of Hylocereus, this one blooms a lot earlier. This flower may sometimes need to be opened by hand because it sticks together and stays in the last stage of a flower bud. When the flower opens, the stigma sticks out a few inches from the anther.
During bloom, we’ve also noticed that the stigma bunches up, which is another unique thing about the flower. Even though we haven’t tested it ourselves, other growers say that Asunta 3 is not self-fertile. This makes perfect sense, since none of the other clones can reproduce on their own.
Fruits weigh between 3/4 of a pound and 1 pound. The mature skin is a peach color, and the fins and flesh are both pink to purple. Let’s go into more detail. Our first fruit has what we call “pink flesh.” But when the plant is old enough to bear fruit for the second time, the flesh is pure purple.
The average brix of the first fruits that were tested was 19, and they tasted great. We expect this to go up as the fruit ages. We liked how juicy and grape-like the fruit was. One interesting thing about the fruit is that the seeds tend to sprout inside before you cut it open.
So, if you grow plants for flowers, fruit, or just to collect different kinds of Dragon Fruit, you should add this one to your list.
How to grow
Dragon fruit is also called Pitaya or Pitahaya, and it’s not too hard to get a cutting to grow roots. There are many ways to get the cuttings to grow roots, and you can find many videos about it on the internet.
Putting cuttings in a pot with a moist mix of peat moss and perlite is my favorite way to get them to grow roots. Then keep a little bit of water, but not too much. Dragon fruit plants are cacti, but they are tropical cacti, so they need more water than cacti that grow in the desert.
When they are putting down roots, they should be out of the sun and in some shade. If it’s cold outside, you might need to heat their bottoms with a heat mat or something else.
Edgar Valdivia, a member of the California Rare Fruit Growers group, made this variety by crossing Asunta 2 with Condor again to make it better. The flower is pink and can’t reproduce on its own. It needs to cross-pollinate, and the flowers might need to be opened by hand.
The fruit is bigger than Asunta 2 (~300-450 grams), has a peach-colored skin with lime-colored fins, and pink to magenta flesh that gets darker as it ages. The flesh is firm and has a floral flavor. The brix is said to be 19-21.