UCLA dragon fruit

UCLA Dragon Fruit dragon fruit

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a new variety of dragon fruit that has garnered attention for its unique characteristics. UCLA dragon fruit (Hylocereus costaricensisis hybrid) is the result of years of meticulous breeding and research, with the goal of creating a fruit that is more resilient, flavorful, and nutritious than its counterparts.


The UCLA pitahaya stands out from other varieties due to its deep red skin and red flesh. The fruit’s size is also notable, as it is larger and more robust than most other dragon fruits, making it an attractive option for both growers and consumers.

It has a distinct flavor profile, with a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. Its texture is smooth and creamy, which sets it apart from the sometimes grainy texture of other dragon fruit varieties. This combination of taste and texture makes this ftuit a highly sought-after treat.

Genus: Hylocereus
Plant type: Cacti
Outside color: Deep red
Pulp color: Red
Taste: Good flavor
Weight:~350 grams
Soil pH: Neutral
Exposure: Full sun to shade
Water: Little water
Soil: Rich organic matter plus sand
Flavor: 5 out of 5
Appearance: 5 out of 5
Fruit production: 4 out of 5
Home planting: 4 out of 5
Commercial planting: 4 out of 5

This pitaya variety is not only delicious, but also incredibly nutritious. It contains higher levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals compared to other varieties, making it an even healthier option for those looking to incorporate more nutrient-dense fruits into their diet.


The UCLA Dragon Fruit thrives in warm, tropical climates, making it well-suited for cultivation in regions like Southern California, Florida, and Hawaii. It requires well-draining soil and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. However, it does need protection from frost and extreme temperatures, as these conditions can harm the plant and reduce fruit production.

It can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, with the latter being the more common method due to faster growth and the assurance of obtaining plants with the same characteristics as the parent plant. To propagate from a cutting, take a healthy, mature stem segment and allow it to dry for a few days before planting it in well-draining soil. Water the cutting sparingly until it establishes roots and begins to grow.

Maintenance for this fruit includes regular watering, but be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Pruning is essential for managing the plant’s size and encouraging fruit production. Fertilize the plant with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth and fruit development.

UCLA dragon fruit

Culinary Uses and Recipes

The UCLA Dragon Fruit is best enjoyed fresh, as its delightful flavor and creamy texture truly shine when eaten raw. To prepare the fruit, simply cut it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, or peel off the skin and slice the flesh into bite-sized pieces. It makes a great addition to fruit salads, yogurt, or as a stand-alone snack.

Cooking Ideas

While it is fantastic on its own, it can also be used in various recipes to add a burst of color and unique flavor. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Dragonfruit Smoothie. Combine the flesh of one dragonfruit with a banana, a cup of frozen berries, a handful of spinach, and a cup of almond milk in a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy a nutrient-packed, delicious smoothie.
  • Grilled Dragon Fruit Salsa. Dice the flesh of one dragon fruit, along with a mango, a red onion, a jalapeno, and a handful of cilantro. Mix with the juice of one lime, a drizzle of honey, and a pinch of salt. Grill the mixture briefly to enhance the flavors and serve with chips or over grilled fish or chicken.


The UCLA Dragon Fruit variety is an exciting innovation in the world of tropical fruits, offering a visually stunning and delectable option packed with nutrients. Its unique characteristics make it a desirable addition to any garden or kitchen, and its versatility ensures it can be enjoyed in numerous culinary applications. Whether you’re a home gardener, a professional grower, or a food enthusiast, the UCLA Dragon Fruit is sure to delight and impress.


Is "UCLA" self-fertile?
No, it is self-sterile.
Where was this variety bred?
Most likely, it was bred in the California.
Michael Gorelov
Rate author
Exotic fruits and vegetables