Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Feature plant: Dragon fruit

Here's the first in a little series I've been meaning to do for some time, featuring some of the plants I grow in my garden. I thought I'd start with the dragon fruit, because seriously, this plant rocks!!

I first encountered dragon fruit in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. It was a strikingly colourful fruit with not a lot of flavour, but when I discovered someone selling plants at our local Farmers Market I thought I'd have a go growing them.

Dragon fruit is a succulent, originally from Central America, and not dissimilar to a zygocactus, which means it makes for a strikingly ornamental plant even if it didn't produce anything of substance. It thrives really well in a frost free environment, puts down deep roots, and loves the sun. Perfect for Geraldton weather!

Once a year it begins to put out flower spikes. They start out as little buds

                                                               That get bigger

and bigger

                                                      Until they are phallus like.

And then in the dark of night they do this:

If that isn't a dragon breathing fire.....

By the morning that beautiful ephemeral vision has gone

And for the next six to eight weeks you need to wait patiently for the spike to fatten up

and turn pink.

Then pick, slice open and tuck in!

It's not an excitingly tasty fruit, a bit of a cross between a passionfruit and a kiwi fruit, but it is juicy and quite refreshing.

And what a journey!

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