Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Where do Dragon Fruits come from?
Do you know what a dragon fruit is? Do you know where a dragon fruit comes from? Well don’t feel bad; until a few days ago, I didn’t know what it was either and it turns out I was growing them in my back yard!
Last week, while surfing the gardening blogosphere, I came across the Garden Views blog where I found a post about this unusual fruit. Seems the author had purchased the Dragon Fruit at her local supermarket. I realized that this was the same fruit I had picked from my Epiphyllum plant!
You all have seen pictures of my Epiphyllum Orchid Cactus (night-blooming cereus) plant. Well, the dragon fruit comes from the plant's flowers and is considered a gourmet delicacy and a nutrional powerhouse, loaded with fiber and vitamin C. After reading about the fruit and finding out that it was not going to kill me, I decided to try it. Although I found the taste bland and not my preference, I can see mixing it in a salad to add a crunchy texture and increase the nutritional benefits.
My Orchid Cactus grew from a cutting several years ago and it has taken over the remaining trunk of my dead coconut tree. Over the years it has produced hundreds of flowers but never any fruits. This year, for the first time, it gave me two fruits. I could not believe it--why now, after so many flowers? Mysteries of Mother Nature's plant world that us mere mortals will never be privy to.
I am thinking if every flower turned into a fruit, I could sell them to trendy gourmet supermarkets. This could be serious money and maybe the start of a new career for me :-)
The magnificent flowers of the orchid cactus only bloom at night and only for one night.
See below the only two fruits my plant produced this year.