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  • Dragon FruitPosted 3 years ago under Uncategorized

    Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is an exotic fruit that most people are not familiar with. It is known for its high protein content and ability to help lower glucose levels. As such, it is a good choose as a fruit for those with diabetes. It is full of antioxidants and can help lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels.1

    Taxonomy

    Dragon fruit grows on the Hylocereus undatus tree.

    Kingdom (Plantae) → Angiosperms → Eudicots → Core eudicots → Order (Caryophyllales) → Family (Cactaceae) → Genus (Hylocereus) → Species (Hylocereus undatus)

    Description

    Dragon fruit, or pitaya, is a fruit that grows on a cactus with vines. The fleshy vines can range in length from a few inches to as long as 20 feet. The flowers are brightly colored but only bloom at night.2 The fruit has a red, almost scaly outer skin. The inner flesh is white with multiple tiny black seeds.3

    Distribution

    The dragon fruit originated in South and Central America as well as Mexico. Today, it is grown in tropical and subtropical climates around the world. The fruit thrives in a dry tropical climate with some shade. They can tolerate droughts and some extreme heat.4

    Nutritional Information

    Dragon fruit is a good source of nutrition including dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is high in vitamin C and iron and a good source of B vitamins and phosphorus. These nutrients help the body detox from toxins and heavy metals as well as help the body heal its cells. Dragon fruit acts as a natural laxative.5

    Commercial Cultivation

    Dragon fruit can be grown from seed or cuttings. If grown from cuttings, it takes six to twelve months for the plant to bloom. The dragon fruit blooms only at night, so pollination can be a problem.6 These plants can produce fruit up to four or even six times a year.2

    Diseases, Pests, Predators

    Generally, dragon fruit are resistant to most common diseases and pests. When the plants are susceptible to disease and pests, it is because they are grown in climates that are not ideal for the crop. Diseases that affect the dragon fruit include anthracnose, brown spots, stem rots, and fruit rots. Common pests include beetles, ants, scales, snails, and birds.7

    Sources

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