My sister in Darwin has Dragon Fruit growing on her trees, they grow like a vanilla bean plant on a host tree. Whilst there are commercial plantations in Darwin it was a pleasure to eat from her plant and know that it has grown without any pesticides. The flesh inside is either white with tiny black seeds or at the other extreme, there is Carol’s stunning red flesh variety – Costa Rica pitaya (Hyloereus costarciensis).
It is very hardy as it is a cactus, growing well in tropical conditions and that includes rainforests and yet is hardy enough to tolerant droughts. Carol’s Dragon Fruit grow high on her very tall trees and sometimes the wildlife gets to them before she does.
I was so taken with my re-acquaintance with them that I couldn’t wait to eat them when I was given two yesterday. Warning – no grinning after eating! Check your teeth for black specks first. Cut in half and scoop out the flesh, the skin comes away very easily.
It has large fragrant flowers that bloom at night so you have to be a keen gardener armed with a torch to catch them open. In some areas they will flower as early as 4pm and if they do flower early, they can look their best by 9pm.
I have since discovered a Dragon Fruit Festival in Nanango, a Queensland town. Visit the website for information about the festival. Roz