Dragon Fruit flower explosion

by on September 12, 2009

dragon fruit flowers

While away in Japan last week, we had a mental list of what was being taken care of back home. My brothers were gracious enough to house-sit for Todd and I (as re-payment for childhood debts that I never received) and with that came many responsibilities. The pups, obviously, had to be tended to, and they did a fabulous job at that. To make sure Sierra (the baby white boxer of the household) was not bored, my brothers made sure she had plenty of playtime, head rubs and new toys every other day. What a spoiled dog.

The other mental note we had was wondering if we would make it home in time to see our dragon fruits in flower.

dragon fruit

When the dragon fruits are flowering, it’s a spectacle that every avid gardener needs to experience. Like other plants in the night blooming cereus family, most dragon fruit plants bloom at night, when all is quiet and still. I always felt that they were humans, they’d be the quiet, artistic, poetic types. Seeming un-assuming by day with their rather spiny, crawliing arms, but by night, they wait till the world falls asleep to release all their beauty and gorgeous glory.

In the dark, we’ll normally try to come out with flashlights or wake up really early in the morning and try to catch the 8 hour explosion of blooms. It’s a magnificent scene of gorgeous trumpet shaped flowers, all attached to cactus looking plant appendages that make losing sleep worth while. If you sleep in, you’ll miss one of natures true blooming wonders.

dragon fruit

Dragon fruits are unique and peculiar looking fruits of a cacti family of plants and they’re all completely edible. Often times, they vary on levels of sweetness depending on the variety. The most common variety found in most specialty markets, farmers markets and Asian stores are the round, reddish/pink outside variety. The center is normally white that is dotted with black seeds.

dragon fruit

We grow 5 varieties, three of which are rare. With all the summer heat, they’re extended their vines and grow about 1-2 inches a day. That’s how much they proliferate when the warm weather approaches. Our rare ones have not fruited yet and we’re hoping that if they stay untouched for the next year, they’ll produce some viable fruit that we can all share with you.

So as you can see, we BARELY made it home in time from Japan to see the glory of one of our varieties. They started to peak in the evening we returned from Japan! What perfect timing! It seemed like they waited for us to come home and what a wonderful home-coming it was.

Lucky Todd was able to photograph these stunning beauties before they went to rest to begin their fruiting stage. I think I was still suffering from jetlag, so thank goodness Todd caught these in time for all of us to enjoy.

Can’t wait to show you all new dragon fruit in a few weeks!

Dragon fruit flower power!

-diane

Previous Dragon Fruit Posts and Photographs:

 

 

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tokyo Terrace September 12, 2009 at 3:54 am

Wow- what an amazing gardening experience! I am still in awe at the fact that I can use fresh herbs grown on our tiny balcony in Tokyo. Sometimes, it seems like plants have an almost human sense that we rarely see- with your Dragon Fruit Flowers, that seems to have shown itself in their waiting for you to return from the far East! Glad you got to enjoy the blooms!

–Rachael

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2 The Gardener's Eden September 12, 2009 at 5:40 am

I am very happy that you returned in time to see your blossoming Dragon Flowers. I feel the same about my Black Dragon tree peony. If I miss the flowers, I am distressed. But I must admit, I am trying really hard not to envy your climate. Six months without leaves, (in Vermont), is a lot of lost garden time. So, I must remind myself that I am rewarded with a glorious autumn and breathtaking spring. Still, the truth is, I am a little jealous. I would love to grow Dragon Fruit, lemons, limes and artichokes.
Thank you again for the wonderful journal of notes from Japan. I can not wait to visit..
Michaela

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3 Jessica Lee Binder September 12, 2009 at 8:07 am

My mom has these and the red variety seems to bloom longer, but I don’t think hers fruit. I didn’t even know they were dragon fruit flowers. What do we have to do to make them fruit?

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4 White on Rice Couple September 12, 2009 at 9:07 am

There are many plants in the dragon fruit family (Hylocereus) and night blooming cereus family, dutchman’s pipe cactus, queen of the night (Epiphyllum) family that don’t have edible bearing fruit.
Although their growth forms and flowers look very, very similar, they are not all the time. Many plants in the Epiphyllum family make gorgeous house and garden plants, but their fruit don’t become large enough to really eat.
Making the dragon fruit plants to bear fruit can be tricky, depending on the variety. We’ll have to write up a post later on about the do’s and dont’s of growing dragon fruit cactus.

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5 The Purple Foodie September 12, 2009 at 8:58 am

WOW. I have had the chance to try a dragon fruit very few times because they’re quite an exotic crop here. The few instances I’ve got my hands on them, I’ve paid the earth for it. Must be so awesome to grow your own.

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6 Chef Gwen September 12, 2009 at 9:20 am

How stunning! I’ve never seen a Dragon Fruit vine, much less one with such eye-candy flowers. Thanks for making it home in time to capture and share.

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7 mycookinghut September 12, 2009 at 11:00 am

I love dragon fuits!!

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8 Hummingbird Appetite September 12, 2009 at 8:06 pm

The flowers look so beautiful! Can’t wait to see the fruit!

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9 Hélène September 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm

So nice that Todd could take those beautiful pictures. I have never the flowers of the Dragon Fruit. And so nice of your brothers to take care of everything while you were away. :)

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10 Rosemary Mark September 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Gorgeous Dragon Fruit posts!

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11 Kamran Siddiqi September 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Diane, this post was beautifully written and lots of thought went into it. The photos are spectacular and you make me want to take up gardening. I just love nature!

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12 Jennifer Hess September 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Those are truly magnificent. Wow.

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13 Tartelette September 14, 2009 at 6:59 am

You know, it makes total sense that a fruit this good would have flowers this beautiful! Glad you were able to see their explosion upon your return. Gives a perfect twist to a great journey. Gotta love life’s little ways of giving you a “welcome home”.

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14 Gastronomer September 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I’m looking forward to seeing the “rare” dragon fruits! I wonder if they’ll be orange inside…

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15 Marc @ NoRecipes September 14, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Wow those are real beauties. Yet another plant to add to the list of things I want to grow when I (someday) have a garden.

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16 Ibby Jenkins September 15, 2009 at 12:23 pm

We have loads of dragon fruit – very good, sweet crop this year. We’d like to get other varieties – is there a nursery you know of where we can get some? We just have the red outside/white center type. Love your web site…thanks

No nurseries that we know of for sure which have the rarer varieties of dragon fruit. We acquired our rare varieties from a little ol’ Vietnamese grandma who grew them in her backyard. If you are in the Los Angeles area, try maybe Papaya Nursery. Alex has an incredible inventory of fruiting goodies. – WORC

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17 Meaghan September 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm

oh, yes, I meant to post my comment on this page. I look forward to seeing your dragon fruit when they’re ready. I love dragon fruit, but it’s very expensive in Montreal. I miss being able to eat them every morning for breakfast while vacationing in Thailand.

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18 Jessica@FoodMayhem September 15, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Darn it!

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19 Brooke @ Food Woolf September 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Though the blooming process may be brief, those gorgeous photos will last forever! Thank you for sharing them. xoxo, B

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20 jenny September 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Wow, that is beautiful, and since it is a cactus I think I can actually grow this in my garden without feeling guilty! Thanks for sharing! We’re hoping to move to a new place soon and I really want to have a fruit and veg garden so I’ll probably be stopping by a lot for ideas.

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21 Dawn in CA September 28, 2009 at 3:40 pm

I tried some of this fruit for the first time while on vacation in Mexico recently. It was delicious and so beautiful! We live in No. Cal. and I am hoping to plant one of these in our side yard, which gets lots of sun. Need to research the best time of year to plant. Gorgeous photos!

P.S. It was great to meet you both at BlogHerFood09. Your “visuals” session at the end of the day was jam-packed with good, basic photography intel — perfect for this soon-to-be blogger and newbie photographer.

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22 Pauline Leaver November 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Does anyone know where I can get a plant or seeds for a dragon fruit. After living 15 years in Vietnam I really miss them. Cheers

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23 White on Rice Couple November 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm

We just get our from Little Saigon in Orange county, CA but have been seeing them in some of our local nurseries to. You might be able to special order them from one of your local nurseries. Worth a shot.

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