Dragon fruit is an epiphytic perennial plant of the genus Cactaceae. The plant is thought to have originated in Central and South America and is known as Pitaya. A member of the fast-growing genus Cactaceae, the Dragon Fruit is currently grown as an economic crop in many countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Israel, and India. It is also used as a fruit in many parts of the world and is known as the fruit of the 21st century.
Although Dragon Fruit was not successfully popularized in Sri Lanka in the early days of its introduction, it is now widely distributed in Sri Lanka as a high-value fruit. Can be successfully grown in lowland wet zone, intermediate zone, and dry zone under additional irrigation. But because of the genus Dragon fruit catechins are more suitable for the dry zone as well as the quality and taste of the fruit is higher in the dry zone. Dragon fruit is a cactus plant that can withstand drought, poor soil conditions, and low temperatures. But it is more suitable for cultivation in a dry tropical climate with a temperature of 20-30 Celsius. It is also advisable to have alternating rainfall of 500-1500 mm and clear dry and wet climates. The plant needs good sunlight but prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not good for the plant and in such cases shade is required.
The Dragon Fruit Plant is also popular as an ornamental plant. The fruit can be eaten directly when ripe. It is also used to make by-products such as jams, ice creams, jellies, fruit juices, and wines. It is also used in many countries in food production as a decorative and medicinal capsule for a wide range of by-products. But in Sri Lanka at present, it is mostly popular only as a fruit. Eating this fruit increases digestion. It is also said to have anti-cancer and pharmacological properties in controlling diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure.