What is Dragon fruit? We love sharing our photos to explain how amazing this tropical fruit is. What is dragon fruit | @whiteonrice

This post was one of our first recipe posts back in 2008. It’s fun to see how our photography and garden has changed over the years! 

After reading this article, check our more of our previous write ups:

What is Dragon Fruit?

Check out our photos and the whole cycle of flower to fruit. A funky addition and curious conversation piece to our garden is the Dragon Fruit (Thanh Long in Vietnamese). Also called Pitaya or Strawberry Pear, this fruit is one of several varieties of cactus plant fruits prized in Southeast Asia. The numerous, sprawling branches of this fleshy cacti reach out and climb on to anything that crosses it’s path. Just like a dragon or serpent snaking it’s way in all different directions, the spiny plant itself is really easy to grow in warm, hot , sunny areas. Propagation just takes one strong cutting planted in good soil and you can have a whole farm of plants within two years.

We grow the red/pink skinned, white center variety. The thin skin can be peeled, revealing a white center filled with small, black , edible seeds. Eating the fruit and interior seeds has a texture similar to that of kiwi fruit. It’s really a slightly sweet, mild flavored fruit and is best when eaten fresh. Savoring it this way makes it worth the high price tag it can fetch at the store or farmers market. Dad just gave us some cutting for a red skinned, red center variety. Hopefully next years harvest will be good.

Photos of How Dragon Fruit Grows from Flower to Fruit

Watching the complete life cycle of this unique plant and see them ripen over a period of 3-4 months is cool. The fruit grows on top of the branches and over this growth period, the fruit is nurtured to a plump, large, orange sized beauty.

Baby flower buds …so cute!flower buds

Mature flowers at full bloom!

Dragon fruit Flowers and Dragon Fruit Vines Plant | @whiteonrice

POP !! Believe it or not, this beauty only lasts for 1 day! After that, it’s like….

pitaya flowers on vine

All done!

pitaya flowers on vine
Now comes the fruit growing at the base of the drying flower

pitaya plant fruit and flowers | WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

Pitaya vines and flowers | WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

Dragon Fruit Flowers and Dragon Fruit Vines Plant | @whiteonrice

More to come…this fruit is still ripening. The harvest should be in about 2 more weeks! Here’s a great dragon fruit smoothie recipe.