Pitaya

Curious about how dragon fruit grows? Read about the amazing cactus (pitaya) that produces this tasty fruit as well as where it grows.


 dragon-fruit-flower
Figure 1 – Flower of H. undatus. Photo by  O. Tellez-Valdes, FESI-UNAM.

Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Family. Cactaceae

Synonyms. Cereus tricostatus Rol.-Goss., C. trigonus var. guatemalensis Eichlam, C. undatus Pfeiff., C. undulatus D.Dietr., Hylocereus guatemalensis (Eichlam) Britton & Rose, H. tricostatus (Rol.-Goss.) Britton & Rose

Vernacular / common names. Dragon fruit, queen of the night (English); pitahaya, pitaya (indigenous names).



Plant Description

Life Form. Epiphytic cactus.

Plant. Climbing, scrambling or shrubby; stems 3–6 cm wide, ribs 3, margins wavy, aerial roots present.






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