Bilu dragon fruit

Bilu dragon fruit dragon fruit

“Bilu” is a variety of dragon fruit, named after the Israeli moshav Kfar Bilu. Quite a rare variety, which is practically not found abroad in Israel, and to get its cuttings or at least seeds is a difficult task.


Dragon fruit, or pitaya, has become increasingly popular over the past several years, to the point where exporters in Israel are finding it increasingly difficult to meet international demand.

According to exporters, this is primarily due to the recent increase in demand from UK supermarkets — namely Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda — which prefer red- and pink-fleshed varieties from Israel over white-fleshed varieties from Vietnam.

Category:Edible fruits, vines and climbers, cactus and succulents, epiphytes
Sun exposure:Full Sun / sun to partial shade
Water requirements:Average water needs. Water regularly, do not overwater. Drought-tolerant, suitable for xeriscaping
Propagation methods:From woody stem cuttings / from semi-hardwood cuttings / allow cut surface to callous over before planting / from seed, sow indoors before last frost or direct sow after last frost
Soil pH requirements:6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic);
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral);
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Outside color:Red
Pulp color:Purple
Taste: Very sweet
Weight:450-600 grams
Flavor:5 out of 5
Appearance:5 out of 5
Production:4 out of 5
Home planting:4 out of 5
Commercial planting:4 out of 5

There are two seasons for pitaya growing in Israel. The summer crop (based on the Bilu clones) is harvested and marketed between June and November/December.

Israel’s two most important kinds, Bilu and Venus, are harvested from June to December.

The fact that this plant only blooms for a few hours is one of its most remarkable characteristics — and also a drawback for the farmers.

The flower blooms over a single night and shuts between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. Consequently, it must be pollinated early in the morning. Pollination needs a great deal of manual labor and is only accomplished in the morning.


In Israel, a country with severe water problems, new and tastier kinds of pitahaya have been produced. Dragonfruit originated in the Mexican jungles and was introduced to Vietnam by the French around the turn of the twentieth century. They have turned it into the “Dragon Fruit” agricultural variety.

Israel is developing new species to enhance its flavor, extend its shelf life, and make it more competitive on European markets.

Bilu ripe dragon fruit photo


Is Bilu dragon fruit self-pollinating?
No. It can't use the own pollen to set fruit.
What is the most famous variety bred in Israel?
Probably the most popular variety is called Israeli golden.

Michael Gorelov
Rate author
Exotic fruits and vegetables
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