Purple Dragon Fruit / Pitaya - Hylocereus polyrhizus - Exotic Cactus Vine Fruit - 10 Seeds
The plant is a climbing cactus vine that grows well in dry areas. Because of its epiphytic nature, it grows best in soil with a high level of organic materials. The flowers are white and large, measuring 30 cm long or more. They are ornate and produce a sweet fragrance when in bloom. The flowers bloom for one night only. Pitahaya plants can have between four to six fruiting cycles in one year. It can be propagated by seed or by stem cuttings. The dragon fruit has a dramatic appearance, bright pink or yellow skinned (from Columbia) with green coloured spine-like scales. The scales turn yellow as the fruit ripens while the skin peels easily. The fruit is oval shaped, elliptical or pear-shaped. Inside, the flesh has subtly flavoured sweet taste or sometimes slightly sourish. The flesh is either white or red with black seeds dotted all over. The seeds resemble sesame seeds and taste like cactus seeds. It imparts a crunchy texture. Dragon fruits are also called cactus fruits. They are closely related to the orchid cacti or epiphyllum. Epiphyllums are known for their large and impressive flowers. The fruit is popularly eaten raw and tastes better chilled. It is also served as a juice. The flesh is sweet and sometimes served with mango in a tropical sorbet. The fruit is also used to flavour drinks while syrup made of the whole fruit is used to colour pastries and candy. The pulp of the fruit is used in producing an alcoholic beverage. The fruit makes a wonderful cocktail on its own or mixed with other tropical fruits. It is sometimes used in cooking. Unopened flowerbuds can be cooked like vegetables. Dragon fruits reputedly improve eyesight and prevent hypertension. The seeds of the fruit supposed help in controlling blood glucose levels in people with non-insulin-dependent hyperglycaemic conditions (a kind of diabetes). It is also used to treat stomach and endocrine problems.