Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dragon Fruit Blossom

Dragon Fruit blossom on the epiphytic jungle cactus Hylocereus costaricensis.  This plant originates in Central America where it was cultivated for food.  It is also called Pitaya roja or red-fleshed pitaya.  Hylocereus polyrhizus is a synonym.  The fruits are sweet but slightly tart, have red, shiny exteriors covered with green bracts.  The flesh of the fruits is a dark pink with tiny black seeds.  In nature, these beautiful, noctunal flowers are pollinated by bats and, if they open early enough, also by bees.  The flowers open in the evening, being fully open by around nine or ten at night, and are typically wilted by the next afternoon.

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