Desert King dragon fruit (also called DK#16 Hybrid) is easy to recognize because of its magenta pulp and delicious, sweet and tropical taste with a hint of sour. It looks very nice because of its “little wings”.
Israeli variety originated from a cross between Selenicereus megalanthus and Hylocereus polyrhizus, it produces fruits of excellent quality, very sweet and very pleasant flavor.
The color of the fruit varies from pink to light orange, depending on the incidence of sunlight directly on the skin. Pink colored pulp.
|Plant type:||Fruiting cactus vine|
|Light requirements:||Full Sun, part shade|
|Self-pollinating:||No, this variety needs to be crossed with other varieties|
|Outside color:||Pink to light orange|
|Taste:||Delicious sweet taste|
|Flavor:||5 out of 5|
|Appearance:||5 out of 5|
|Growing:||4 out of 5|
|Home planting:||4 out of 5|
|Commercial planting:||4 out of 5|
It is an easy plant to grow, but should not be cultivated in excessively wet soil and should also avoid places of severe drought if there is no supplemental irrigation.
This variety is fast growing and disease resistant. Like all red Pitayas, it is rich in vitamin A. Many people think it is self-pollinating, but apparently it is not.
Dragon fruit, also called pitaya or pitahaya, has become very popular in the past few years, so much so that exporters in Israel say it’s getting harder and harder to meet international demand.
Exporters say that’s mostly because of a recent rise in demand from US and UK supermarkets, which prefer the red- and pink-fleshed types grown in Israel over the white-fleshed types from Vietnam.
In the meantime, this type of dragon fruit that was developed in the country could make it possible for the country to have a year-round supply of the fruit in the future (Desert King grow well and produce even when it’s cold outside). It can be picked from the end of December to the beginning of April. This would allow the country to meet the growing demand for dragon fruit on international markets.
This variety developed in Israel from crossing H. polyrhizus and H. megalanthus, credited to researchers Josef Mizrahi and Avinom Nard, from Ben Gurion University. The result is a very productive plant, with medium to small fruits, orange-red on the outside and pink flesh, very beautiful, tasty and refreshing. The skin has spines, which stick out more easily as the fruit mature. The average Brix score for this variety is 18-19.