PRODUCTION POTENTIAL OF PITAYA IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit is a cactus, closely related to the native night blooming cerius, with a large succulent fruit. Twenty-six 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 a year of field establishment, 63% flowered and set fruit; 92%, the second year. All flowers were naturally pollinated at night by bats and moths so no hand pollination was required. Six pitaya varieties are recommended based on first year production, fruit size and sweetness. These varieties are 'Dark Star', 'Delight', 'Halley's Comet', 'Makisupa', 'Physical Graffiti' and 'Purple Haze'. Pitaya has potential for production in the Virgin Islands.


Issue Date:
2013
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/253582
Total Pages:
8




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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