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Products > Selenicereus megalanthus
Selenicereus megalanthus - Yellow Pitahaya

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Cactaceae (Cactus)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Hylocereus megalanthus]
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Selenicereus megalanthus (Yellow Pitahaya) - A fast growing vining cactus with long (up to 20 feet!) 1-2 inch thick 3-ribbed green stems that may lie procumbent along the ground or climb up on supporting plants or structures. The stems often bear aerial roots, white areoles and short spines with new growth bristling with hairs. The large nocturnal funnel-shaped flowers are about a foot long with numerous 4 inch long by 1 1/2-inch wide tepals and yellow stamens - thought to be the largest flowers of all cacti. These self-fertile flowers are followed by the ovoid yellow skinned fruit that have horn-like tuberculations that other dragon fruit do not have. The interior of the fruit is white with black seed and is described as having a pleasant mildly sweet flavor.

Plant in cool coastal full to part sun in a well-drained compost rich soil with ample water in summer months. Generally best in frost free areas but has been noted by others as hardy to 32F with stems dying back in temperatures below 25F.

Yellow Pitahaya is native to northern South America from Peru, Bolivia and Columbia, where it grows on trees. The name is derived from 'Selene', the Greek moon goddess in reference to the nocturnal flowers and the Latin word 'cereus', meaning "candle", which is a name used for upright cacti. This plant was originally described as Hylocereus megalanthus but in 2017, the genus Hylocereus was synonymized with Selenicereus. The specific epithet is from the Greek words 'mega' meaning large and 'anthos' meaning flower for the exceptionally large flowers of this species that are thought to be among the largest flowers within the cactus family. Besides Yellow Pitahaya it is also called Yellow Dragon Fruit, Kirin Fruit and Yellow pitaya. 

This information about Selenicereus megalanthus displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.