Dragon Fruit flower
Dragon Fruit Flower Overview:
The Dragon Fruit Cactus (Hylocereus spp) is mainly cultivated for its tasty and unusual looking fruit. However, the short lived flowers are also amazingly large and beautiful.
The flowers life is a bit of a Cinderella story. For most of its life, the flower bud spends its days blending into the background. Then on one single night, it becomes larger than life and reveals its remarkable inner beauty; flowing delicate white pedals surround a golden center. However, like the fairytale, the flowers story is tragically short lived. With the morning sun, the flowers begin to fade. Eventually the flower withers to once again blend into the background.
What to look for:
- Since the flower is nocturnal and only lasts for one day, it can be easy to miss. However, if you know what to look for, you will have a better chance of seeing it bloom.
- The flower bud will undergo a dramatic growth spurt just a few days before it opens.
- On the day the flower opens, the flower bud will almost pucker at the end revealing a tiny amount of its white pedals at the end. However, the flowers don’t actually start to open until the sun begins to go down.
- The flower springs into action at the moment the sun no longer directly shines on the plant.
- The flowers can also be seen the next morning but not for long. The mighty looking flowers are surprisingly short lived and will be wilted by the following day.
I recently captured the blooming of a Dragon Fruit Flower with time lapsed photography. I am working on a video which I will post shortly.
Update August 20, 2014:
Time lapse video of dragon fruit flowers opening:
- Here’s a video I just put together of beautiful dragon fruit flowers opening (see below).
- The following 20 second video was created by taking a picture every 15 min for 2 days.
- But I didnt stay up all night taking pictures with a stopwatch; I set things up to happen automatically and walked away.
- FYI: If you want to make a cool time-lapse video like this yourself, you just need to get a simple plug-in tool for your SLR.
- The tool is called a “Release Timer Remote Control” and it is what allows you to set the time and interval for when the pictures will be taken automatically.
- The prices for this category of product is all over the map. The one I got has great reviews and is very reasonable compared to the others. It was only about $30 on Amazon. Here’s the link if you are interested; Release Timer Remote Control
- This particular Release Timer also has a ton of other-additional features that I am only starting to explore.
- Its actually pretty darn cool.
- The only major drawback about this product that I have read about on the reviews is that it doesn’t have an on/off button. Therefore, you need to take the two AAA batteries out between uses… Which is probability a good idea anyways.
A bit of Biology:
The plant is native to Central American jungles where the nocturnal flowers are primarily pollinated by nectar-feeding bats. Moths and other insects may play a more minor role in pollination. In the morning other insects are attracted to the fragrant scent of the fading flower including bees and other insects.
Get your own home grown flowers:
- For details on how to get your dragon fruit cacti to flower, check out my 5/19/13 post. http://tastylandscape.com/2013/05/19/how-to-get-dragon-fruit-cactus-to-bloom/
Dragon fruit are delicious!
- For complete details on how to get your dragon fruit to produce fruit, check out the recent post from 7/30/13. http://tastylandscape.com/2013/07/30/how-to-get-dragon-fruit-cactus-to-fruit/
Stefanie from Southern California has sent in some lovely pictures of her dragon fruit cacti in bloom (see below). Thanks Stefanie!