The flower buds can appear as early as October and flowering will continually right through to May, with the main flowering happening in early January. The flowers are white, 30cm long and are open for only one night. They begin to burst open as early as 4pm and by 9pm have reached their full beauty.
They have a translucency about them and almost seem to glow in the moon light. After one night of glory they start to close with the sunís rays upon them, but not before the beeís have had the most incredible feast. On cloudy days they stay open till about 10am. Fruit set is visible after 10 days and the dragon fruit develop rapidly, they are ready to pick in another 30 days but at this stage they can stay on the vine for up to another 15 days.
They have at least seven flushes of buds in one season which is great for the home gardener because they have fresh fruit for six months of the year. It is not uncommon to have small buds, large flower buds nearly ready to open, green fruit and fruit ready to pick on the one plant.
So far I have recorded no fruit fly attack or any other pest that has caused and problems and therefore they donít need spraying of any kind. Average fruit weight is 450 grams but they can get up to 1kg. We grow many different varieties. The yellow pitaya (Selenicereus megalanthus) is loaded with vitamin C and also contains captine.
This compound is believed to act as a heart tonic but the most important thing is the wonderful taste, it tastes a little bit like a passion fruit.
The red pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) taste has a hint of raspberries and its blood red flesh has been used to treat anemia. The white pitaya (Hylocereus undatus) has a taste between kiwi fruit and watermelon and the amazing look of the fruit with its hot pink skin and white flesh it is truly a gourmetís delight.
- They are wonderful chilled and eaten with ice-cream or fresh out of hand just like a kiwi fruit, they are used to flavor drinks, jams and pastries.
- They freeze well and make the most wonderful sorbets.
- They are packed with vitamin C and high in antioxidants.
- Below are a few scrumptious products we make here.