Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) History and Homeland

The homeland of Pitaya (hylocereus spp.), which is among the tropical fruits, is Tropical America, Southern Mexico, Costa Rica, EI Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Brazil and Uruguay.Pitaya is widely cultivated in Topical and Subtropical America, southern Florida, Caribbean, Hawaii, Australia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Israel.In recent years, this species has been started to be cultivated in our country.Although Pitaya production values are not included in the FAO statistics, the producing countries include these values on their official sites.Although it is not a homeland region, the highest production is made in Vietnam with 640,000 tons on an area of 30,000 ha.Taiwan, another country that shares its production value, produces 27,654 tons on an area of 1,191 ha.

Pitaya is a cactus fruit.It has been described as the most beautiful fruit in the cactus family.Other names used for pitaya are night-blooming cereus, strawberry pear, and dragon fruit in the south of Asia.

Originating from Central America, dragon fruit plants were brought to Vietnam about 50 years ago.It is commonly grown in Vietnam, a few other countries such as Southern China, and more recently Thailand, Australia and Taiwan.Both the flesh and the seeds are recommended to be eaten with ice, especially in hot weather, with their pleasant, warm, sweet/sour taste and characteristic aroma.