The species Selenicereus setaceus is native to Brazil and is also known as “Pitaia do Cerrado” or “Saborosa”, but some producers have called it “Baby Cerrado” (“Pitaya baby” or “Tasty”).
As we say Baby Cerrado is a type of the South American Selenicereus setaceus. It is a subspecies of the Brazilian Cerrados. This type grows naturally in the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Goiás, Distrito Federal, Mato Grosso, and Tocantins on rocky mountains, old tree trunks, and sand soils of high fields.
Baby Cerrado’s growth is a darker green color, and it has three very small but strong spins. Once a plant is established, it can grow quickly.
|Exposure:||Full sun to shade|
|Soil:||Rich organic matter plus sand|
|Flavor:||4 out of 5|
|Appearance:||5 out of 5|
|Fruit production:||4 out of 5|
|Home planting:||3 out of 5|
|Commercial planting:||3 out of 5|
When flower buds open, “hairy buttons” come out. As the buds continue to grow, the hairs at the base of the flower are replaced by spins. Compared to other Hylocereus species, the flowers and flower stigmas were small.
Since this variety is self-sterile, it needs another flower to pollinate it, so it can make fruit.
When the sun goes down, the flowers start to open. When the sun comes up, they wither away. As the fruit grows, the spins turn bright pink, which stands out against the bright green skin. When the fruit is ready to be picked, its skin is dark red and has loosely connected spins that can be easily brushed off.
The average brix of the fruits that were tested was 18, and the fruits from years two and three were even better, with brix ratings of 20 or more. Fruit weight from 100 to 300g and tastes sweet and tropical at the same time.
This plant comes from South America, where it grows on old trees and rocky outcroppings. A fast-growing and vigorous plant, it produces annually a large amount of sweet tasting and very attractive fruits. It can be cultivated in almost all Brazilian territory. There are several variations of this species, some of them being the object of research as potential commercial cultivation.
Undemanding plant, develops and produces fast, within one year. It only needs a structure about 1.5 m high to grow, establish itself, flower and fructify. Its own pollen can be used, but the success rate is 30%. That is, every 10 flowers that are hand pollinated can yield only 3 fruit.