Joyce Greenlund dragon fruit

Joyce Greenlund dragon fruit dragon fruit

“Joyce Greenlund” is a rare variety of dragon fruit, named after a famous farmer who cultivated this cactus in the United States.


Joyce Greenlund dragonfruit variety (Hylocereus undatus hybrid) – a climbing cactus that requires support, has aerial roots, and may grow to at least 30 feet tall with 1 to 2 inch thick, three-sided, notched stems that have a few spines along the ribs. This plant grows more like a tropical vine: we have observed it climbing boulders, buildings, and even palm trees.

Family:Cacti / succulent
Flower color:White
Flower season:Spring, summer, fall
Suitable for:Indoor, Outdoor
Foliage season:Evergreen
Plant type:Perennial vine fruit / vegetable
Uses:Gardening, personal home use, agriculture use, home gardening, tree planting
Size:H: 6'-20', W: 6'-20'
Sunlight:Exposure full sun, partial shade
Resistance:Heat tolerant, humidity tolerant, verticillium wilt resistant
Comes from:California
Flavor:Semi-sweet flavor
Soil needs:Average, well-drained
Water needs:Even moisture - regular
Flavor:4 out of 5
Appearance:5 out of 5
Production: 5 out of 5
Home planting: 4 out of 5
Commercial planting:4 out of 5

The fragrant, big (10-12 inches long), white, bell-shaped flowers appear at dark and only endure one night from late spring to autumn. Large oval-shaped fruits that can weigh up to 2 pounds and have a tough pink exterior of overlapping scales, white flesh, and numerous delicious microscopic seeds are produced by these blossoms; some California-grown cultivars also have lovely pink flesh on the inside.

In California, where natural pollinators are scarce, it is recommended that flowers be hand-pollinated to ensure ripening. Some claim that cross-pollination is necessary, however the clone we cultivate has proven to not require this.

Plant in a well-drained soil in full sun along the coast but in partial shade inland. In the summer, irrigate sparingly but frequently, including regions where aerial roots may be present. This plant requires a nearly frost-free environment to grow, flower, and produce fruit, thus it is not suitable for everyone. However, fruiting has been achieved in warm places in Santa Barbara and further south.

It is believed that H.undatus originated in the tropical rainforests of Central and northern South America, but it has since spread throughout the world’s tropical and subtropical regions due to its use as a food source and as an ornamental plant with large, fragrant, night-blooming flowers. Its fruit is both sweet and nutrient-dense, including an abundance of antioxidants, dietary fiber, and vitamin C.

The ripe fruit can be chilled, peeled, and sliced into bite-sized pieces to be served as a dessert or used to smoothies or salads. This plant is frequently referred to by the names of its fruit, including Red Dragonfruit, Red Pitaya (or Pitahaya) Fruit, and Strawberry Pear, as well as Belle of the Night and Conderella Plant.


This plant originated in the Santa Barbara garden of Joyce Greenlund, who informed “The Rare Fruit Growers News Online” that a friend brought back a Hylocereus undatus cutting from Hanoi in 1993 and gave it to her in 1995. Three years after Joyce planted this plant against a large boulder facing south in her Santa Barbara Riviera garden, it began flowering and producing fruit.

That first year, it yielded six fruits, each weighing over two pounds, with exceptionally smooth, approximately 1/16-inch-thick skin and no spines. Joyce noted the exquisite flavor of the fruit’s hot pink peel and white flesh with tiny black seeds when it was cut open. Joyce has distributed the fruit at popular Santa Barbara Horticultural Society and Cactus and Succulent Society gatherings.

Joyce Greenlund ripe dragon fruit photo

Visitors to her garden were awestruck by the big, sprawling cactus covered with its exquisite fruit, the flowering date typically engraved on the stem below. Prior to Joyce selling her home with its beautiful garden, she gave us cuttings of this extraordinary plant, which we grew and sold from 2009 until 2019, when we shifted to two red-fruiting types, Hylocereus undatus “Condor” and Hylocereus costaricensis “Kip’s Red“.


In conclusion, Joyce Greenlund was a passionate dragon fruit farmer with a strong connection to her land. She was committed to sustainable farming and strived to provide her customers with the freshest and tastiest fruit possible. Her dragon fruit is truly a delicious and nutritious treat! One of them is a variety of dragon fruit named after her.

We hope our article was helpful to you and that you too can enjoy the impeccable taste of the fruit of this variety.


Can dragon fruit be eaten daily?
Dragon fruit is generally safe to consume and provides numerous health advantages due to its vitamin C and antioxidant content. The fruit's low caloric content makes it an ideal everyday snack.
Who should avoid eating dragon fruit?
Pitahaya might lower blood sugar levels. If you consume dragon fruit, closely monitor your blood sugar levels. Dragon fruit may interfere with glucose regulation during surgical procedures. Stop consuming dragonfruit at least two weeks prior to a surgical procedure.
Can you eat dragon fruit skin?
Yes, the dragon fruit's skin is actually edible.
Anna Gorelova
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Exotic fruits and vegetables
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