TWO YEAR EVALUATION OF 25 PITAYA VARIETIES IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit, is a cactus, closely related to the Caribbean night blooming cerius, with a large succulent fruit. Twenty-five Pitaya varieties were established in a former grape trellis wire system. Plants were set in a replicated trial at either 2 ft or 4 ft intervals. Pitaya were established and proved able to grow to the top of a six foot trellis wire and flower within a year. Plant growth and flowering were monitored monthly and data recorded. Ripe fruit were harvested and data collected on weight, length, width, fruit flesh color and soluble sugar content. After two years of growth all varieties flowered and set fruit. All flowers were naturally pollinated at night by bats and moths so no hand pollination was required. Six pitaya varieties were selected and recommended based on production, fruit size and sweetness. These varieties are ‘Dark Star’, ‘Makisupa’, ‘Physical Graffiti’, ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Halley’s Comet’ and ‘Delight’. ‘Natural Mystic’ though productive, is susceptible to scale. Pitaya has potential for production in the Virgin Islands. This research was supported by USDA-Multistate Hatch and USDA-SCBG administered through the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture.


Issue Date:
2014
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/253331
Total Pages:
8




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-29

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