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An interesting exotic fruit in the cactus family, that looks like big red egg with green “flames” shooting out of it. When cut open, it’s white on the inside with black spots, like kiwi seeds. The Hylocereus type is sweet, and the Stenocereus is sour, but juicier, stronger and more refreshing. The plants have the silhouette of a small palm tree, but instead of palm leaves, they look like aloe leaves. They like to climb things and they flower at night, relying on pollination from bats etc. They can flower and bear fruit up to six times a year and can grow a new plant from simply planting any piece of the plant in the ground. They do quite well in desert heat and can stand an occasional short frost. Cut open or peel off red outer waxy skin, slice and eat the inner white part, seeds and all. The seeds will not digest unless chewed or put in blender. Taste is amazingly bland compared to the flashy exterior. High in vitamin C, fiber, calcium, phosphorus. Diabetics use this as a high-fiber food source instead of rice. Used for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as removing heavy metals, toxins. Red Pitaya (Hylocereus undatus)- red outside, white inside Costa Rica Pitaya (Hylocereus costaricensis)- red outside, red inside Yellow Pitaya (Hylocereus megalanthus) yellow outside, white inside
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz