Dragon Fruit’s Origins
Being a mysterious food, dragon fruit has a second name: pitaya. Whichever name you use, dragon fruit or pitaya, you’re referring to the same fruit, a fruit that grows on a cactus! Several types of cacti grow dragon fruit. The cacti have long, triangular stems with large, yellowish-white flower blossoms. These flowers are unique because they bloom for only one night. On this night, the air is filled with a delicious fragrance.
Once the bloom is pollinated, then a dragon fruit will form. A cactus’ stem can bloom four to six times per year, producing a dragon fruit each time. So one pitaya cactus, with multiple stems, can produce up to 220 lbs (100 kg) of fruit per year!
Dragon fruit is sensitive to temperature and cannot tolerate frosts; a temperature range of 65-77°F (18-25°C) is ideal for growing. Currently, dragon fruit is grown in Central America, South America, and Vietnam where tropical temperatures yield