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Hylocereus undatus (Red Pitaya)

Hylocereus undatus (Red Pitaya) is a kind of Cactaceae and is the most cultivated species in the genus Hylocereus Undatus. It is used both as ornamental vine and fruit cultivation as – Pitaya or Dragonfruit Hylocereus Undatus. The Pitaya is a stunningly beautiful fruit with an intense colour and shape, magnificent flowers and a delicious taste. It produces fruit of 1 kg or more and has a light melon-like taste. Other common names for this plant are: Red Pitaya, Pitahaya Cross, night blooming Cereus, Strawberry Pear, Belle of the Night, Conderella Plant.
Hylocereus undatus or Night-Blooming Cereus, is widespread in the American tropics. The stems are 3-winged and green with wings that are 1 to 2 inches wide. Areoles are about 1 ½ inches (4.5 cm) apart with 1 to 5 spines to 5/32 of an inch (1 cm) long. They climb by use of aerial roots and can reach a height 30 feet (~10 meters) or more growing on rocks and trees. The plant may grow out of, and over the ground or climb onto trees using aerial roots.
As indicated by the name, the blooms appear at night and soon close after the day starts. In late spring to early summer the very large white fragrant flowers adorn the plant. Individual flower are 14 inches (35 cm) long by 12 inches (30 cm) across.
The plant grows best in dry, tropical or subtropical climates where annual rainfall ranges from 20-50″ per year. In wet, tropical zones, plants may grow well but sometimes have problems setting fruit reliably. The plant will tolerate temperatures to 104F, and short periods of frost, but prolonged cold will damage or kill the plant. The plants aren’t usually too picky as to soil type, but because of their epiphytic nature, it is recommended to grow them in soil that is supplemented with high amounts of organic material. The plant has been grown successfully in sandy soils. Shade is sometimes provided in hot climates.
Hylocereus undatus is propagated by cutting or by seed in the spring. Seed should be sown in well-drained compost and should germinate in 14 to 28 days at 18° – 21° C.

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