Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Hylocereus undatus (dragon fruit).

Abstract

Hylocereus undatus is a vine-like cactus that is often grown as a night-flowering ornamental plant and as a fruit crop. The fruit is highly decorative, with a bright red skin, studded with green scales. The flesh is white, juicy and delicious in flavour, with tiny black seeds. Its exact native range is uncertain but is considered to be in Central America. Since the late twentieth century it has been widely planted on a commercial scale as a fruit crop in many tropical regions, particularly in Vietnam and other South-East Asian countries, and has escaped widely from cultivation, become naturalized and in many instances become an invasive weed, sometimes threatening native plants and habitats. Currently it is listed as invasive in China, Australia, South Africa, Cuba, and on many islands in the Pacific Ocean (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; PIER, 2016 <datasheet/27317 >; Queensland Government, 2016 < datasheet/27317 >).