Pitaya Species and Named Varieties


At the present time, there are are large number of named cultivars and unnamed selections. Many selections have been made and are available in the US. There are breeding programs in Taiwan, Vietnam, and Israel. In countries where pitaya are native, selections from the wild are being used. Many of these have been introduced into countries that are interested in growing them. Unfortunately, information on the self-incompatibility of these cultivars and selections is not well documented. This makes cultivar (variety) recommendations difficult at best and potentially unreliable. 1

Species of pitaya 1

SpeciesColor
PeelPulp
Hylocereus undatusRedWhite
Hylocereus triangularisYellowWhite
Hylocereus costaricenesRedRed
Hylocereus polyrhizusRedRed
Hylocereus ocamponisRedRed
Selenicereus megalanthusYellowWhite
Cereus triangularisYellowWhite
Acanthocereus pitajayaYellowWhite
Cereus ocamponisRedRed

Named varieties 2

Name1

Origin

Species

Need for cross pollination

Weight (lbs)

Peel color

Pulp color

Flavor

Rec.2

Alice

California

Hylocereus undatus

Yes

0.5-1.0

Bright pink, green scales

White

Semisweet, good

M

American Beauty

Guatemala

H. guatemalensis

No

0.5-1.0

Pink, light green scales

Dark pink

Good flavor

Y

Bloody Mary

California

H. polyrhizus

Yes

0.25-0.5

Red, green scales

Dark red

Semisweet, good

N

Cosmic Charlie

California

H. undatus

No

0.75-1.25

Pink, light green scales

Pink

Grape/kiwi-

like flavor

Y

Costa Rican Sunset

Costa Rica

Hylocereus spp.

Yes

0.25-0.5

Pink, green scales

Dark red

Good flavor

M

Dark Star

California

H. undatus

No

0.75-1.25

Pink, light green scales

Pink

Mild grape-like flavor

Y

David Bowie

California

H. undatus

No

0.5-1.0

Bright pink, green on margins of scales

White

Sweet, tangy flavor

Y

Delight

California

H. polyrhizus x H. undatus

No

0.5-1.0

Bright pink, green scales

White

Sweet

Y

Guyute

Central America

H. undatus

No

0.5-1.0

Pink, green scales

White

Sweet

Y

Halleys Comet

California

H. undatus x H. polyrhizus

No

1.5-2.0

Pink, green scales

Dark pink

Sweet, good flavor

Y

Harpua

Central America

H. undatus

No

0.75-1.0

Bright pink, green scales

White

Semisweet, good flavor

M

L.A. Women

California

H. undatus

Yes

0.75-1.5

Bright pink, green scales

White

Sweet, bad after taste

N (bad aftertaste)

Lake Atitlan

Guatemala

H. guatemalensis

No

0.75-1.0

Bright pink, green scales

White

Sweet and tangy flavor

M

Makisupa

Central America

H. undatus x H. polyrhizus

No

0.75-1.0

Pink, green scales

Dark Pink

Sweet, slightly astringent

Y

Neitzl

California

H. undatus

No

0.75-1.0

Bright pink, green scales

White

Sweet

Y

Physical Graffiti

California

H. polyrhizus x H. undatus

No

0.75-1.5

Dark pink, green scales

Pink

Sweet, good flavor

Y

Purple Haze

California

H. undatus

No

1.0-2.0

Dark pink, green scales

Dark pink

Sweet grape/kiwi- like flavor

Y

Red Jaina

Florida

H. ployrhizus

Yes

0.5-0.75

Dark pink, dark pink scales

Red

Semisweet, good flavor

N

Seoul Kitchen

Florida

H. undatus

No

0.75-1.0

Bright pink, light green scales

White

Sweet

Y

Thompson

California

H. undatus

No

0.75-1.5

Bright pink, green scales

White

Sweet, good flavor

Y

Vietnam Jaina

Vietnam

H. undatus

No

0.5-1.5

Bright pink, green scales

White

Semisweet

Y

Voodoo Child

Florida

H. ployrhizus

No

0.15-0.25

Dark pink, green scales

Dark pink

Sweet, grape-like flavor

M

Yellow Dragon

Florida

Selenicereus megalanthus

No

0.5-0.75

Bright yellow, green tinged scales

White

Sweet, very good flavor

Y

Zamorano

Honduras

H. ployrhizus

No

0.5-1.0

Red, scales with green margins

Red

Sweet, mild flavor

Y

1 Selected and named in Florida.
2 Recommendation for planting in the home landscape; Y, yes; M, maybe; and N, no.



Hylocereus undatusHylocereus costaricensisHylocereus megalanthusHylocereus triangularis
Fig. 1 
Hylocereus undatus
White-fleshed pitahaya
Fig. 2 
Hylocereus
costaricensis

Red fleshed pitahaya
Fig. 3
Hylocereus megalanthus
Yellow Pitahaya
Fig. 4
Hylocereus
triangularis


H. undatus (Pitaya blanca or white-fleshed pitahaya) has pink-skinned fruit with white flesh. This is the most commonly seen "dragon fruit".
    H. costaricensis (Pitaya roja or red-fleshed pitahaya, also known as H. polyrhizus) has red-skinned fruit with red flesh.
    H. megalanthus (Pitaya amarilla or yellow pitahaya, also known as Selenicereus megalanthus) has yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh.

Red Dragon fruitWhite DragonComparing White and Red Varieties
Fig. 5
Red flesh dragon fruit
H. costaricenes
Fig. 6
White flesh dragon fruit
H. undatus
Fig. 7
Comparing white and red varieties

Hylocereus megalanthus, Yellow pitahaya fruit with spines removed
Fig. 8
Yellow pitaya
H. megalanthus

'Bloody Mary''Costa Rica Sunset'
Fig. 9
'Bloody Mary'
H. polyrhizus
Fig. 10
'Costa Rica Sunset'
H. spp.
'Delight''Seoul Kitchen'
Fig. 11
'Delight'
H. polyrhizus X undatus
Fig. 12
'Seoul Kitchen'
H. undatus


Further Reading
Pitaya, Hylocereous undatus (Haw) - A Potential New Crop for Australia from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Pine Island Nursery Dragon Fruit Viewer ext. link



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Pitaya Page


Bibliography

1 Crane, Johathan H., Balerdi, Carlos F. and Maquire, Ian. "Pitaya Growing in the florida Home Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS1068, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date Nov. 2005. Revised Nov. 2016. Web. 17 June 2017.
2 Crane, Johathan H., Balerdi, Carlos F. and Maquire, Ian. "Table 2. Pitaya varieties available in florida." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Pitaya Growing in the florida Home Landscape."This document is HS1068, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date Nov. 2005. Reviewed July 2013. Web. 24 March. 2014. 

Photographs

Fig. 1 Eliasson, Ulf . Hylocereus undatus. 2003. commons. wikimedia.org.  Under (CC BY 2.5). Web. 20 June 2017.
Fig. 2 Edward. Hylocereus costaricensis. 2005. wikipedia.org. Public domain. Web. 20 June 2017.
Fig. 3 Edward. Hylocereus megalanthus. 2000. wikipedia.org. Public domain. Web. 20 June 2017.
Fig. 4 Hoyer, Richard C. Hylocereus triangularis. 2009. commons. wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 3.0). Web. 20 June 2017.
Fig. 5,6,7,9,10,11,12 Maguire, Ian. Dragon fruit. 2011. trec.ifas.ufl.edu. From the Tropical Fruit Photography Picture Archive. Web. 24 March. 2014.
Fig. 8 Fibonacci. Hylocereus megalanthus, Yellow pitahaya fruit with spines removed. 2006. wikipedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 20 June 2017.

Published 24 March. 2014 LR. Last update 20 June 2017 LR
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