Tropical, turnip-like fruit of some species of
including several kinds of genus, such as the genus Hylocereus,
Stenocereus and Selenicereus. The different varieties have either a
pink peel and white flesh, i.e. the Vietnamese dragon fruit with the
botanical name Selenicereus undatus (fig.);
a dark pink to red peel with red flesh, of which exist two
varieties, one with the botanical name Selenicereus costaricensis (fig.),
the other with the scientific name Selenicereus monacanthus;
or a yellow skin with white flesh, i.e. the yellow dragon fruit with
the botanical name Selenicereus megalanthus; whilst a newly cultivated variety
is the green dragon fruit, which resembles an unripe fruit, with a
green skin and red flesh. Whatever their colour, all have their
flesh dotted with small black seeds. The fruit usually grows around
fifteen to twenty centimeters in size and can weigh up to 1.5
kilograms. It has a slightly sweet taste, disputably comparable to
that of the kiwi fruit.
In Vietnam, the plant usually
yields two harvest per year, one in spring and again in autumn.
However, by exposing the plant to light during the night, an extra
harvest of fruits can be gained.
Thailand cultivates mainly Vietnamese and
red dragon fruits. The plants first bear bright green flower buds
with a purplish edge (fig.),
that turn into yellow-white flowers (fig.),
from which the fruits eventually develop.
The red variety may also be harvested when still pink, when its
taste is more sour rather than sweet, with an early harvest usually
being the result of a higher market price for the product at any
given time, rather than a preference to create sour fruits. They came to Thailand from Vietnam, where they are called trai thanh
long. It is also generally known by the name pitaya and in
they are called
huo long guo.
In both Vietnamese and Chinese, the term
In Thai, known as
kaew mangkon and in