Monday, July 11, 2011

The new Pollinator

Last night my Dragon Fruit plant had the first flowers of the summer, this year I decided to pollinate the flowers myself. This flowers open at night and by morning they are done, so the chances that a moth or bat pollinates the flowers, is slim to none.

Over the years I had hundreds of flowers and only 3 fruits. This year while taking a back tour of the land exhibit at Epcot center I saw a dragon fruit plant with many fruits. The tour guide told me that Disney employees come out the night the flowers open and using Q-tips they pollinate each flower.

The dragon fruit plant is a native of the American southwest, a Hylocereus climbing cactus. The common name comes from the short green fins that grow on the bright, pinkish-red skin reminiscent of the scales of a dragon.

The fruit is consider a delicacy, sweet, low on calories and high in lycopene an antioxidant. The proper way to eat it is chilled and cut in half so the flesh may be spooned out.


Darla said...

Way to go Rusty!

NanaK said...

Those flowers are gorgeous enough that I wouldn't need fruit. But, I do hope you get a lot of fruit for your efforts.

Susan said...

That flower is spectacular!

Stellamarina said...

In Thailand I had dragon fruit juice bought at street venders carts. They just cut up the fruit and put it in a blender. Very nice. Will be interested to hear how the fruiting goes on your dragon fruit.