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Selenicereus undatus


Selenicereus undatus (Haw.) D.R.Hunt

Family Name: Cactaceae
Synonyms: Hylocereus undatus
Common Name: Dragon Fruit, Pitaya, Common Night Blooming Cerus, Red Skin Dragon Fruit, 火龙果


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana, Succulent Plant, Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 10 m


Native Distribution Central America, Mexico to Colombia

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Epiphytic cactus with a sprawling or vining growth habit. As an epiphyte, it can reach up to 10 m tall.
Roots Aerial roots allow this species to climb upwards. In nature, this species grows on top of trees or rocks.
Stems Fleshy, angular stems have 3 wings up to 5 cm wide and scalloped margins.
Flowers Fragrant, whitish to greenish-yellow flowers (25-35 cm long, 30 cm wide) are composed of numerous white- or yellow-tipped stamens and a large stigma with a star-shaped tip. They open at night and close shortly after daybreak.
Fruits Oval to oblong fruits (up to 12 cm long, 9 cm wide) have yellow-green, strap-like appendages that create a scaly, dragon-like texture. The edible, sweet white flesh contains numerous, black seeds which are also edible.
Cultivation It grows best in well-drained, loamy soil.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The white flesh along with its seeds is typically eaten raw.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Night)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Small Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden, Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Trumpet-shaped
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Night (dusk to dawn)
Flower Lifespan on Plant 1 Night
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Flower Colour(s) Remarks Greenish-yellow
Flowering Period Remarks In the tropics, plants flower 4-6 times a year.

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red, Green, Pink
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black
Mature Seed Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 123
Species ID 1419
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 06 May 2022.