Pitahaya is a climbing plant from the Cactaceae family. Depending on its variety, it has flowers in red or white tones. Some of them produce edible fruits, which are also called pitahaya.

The dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy indicates that it has this name in Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela, among others. However, internationally it is known as dragon fruit.

In the Haitian language, the word pitahaya means “flaky fruit.” The exotic fruits offered by the plant described above have an oval shape and a thick skin with scales. Its bark can have hard thorns, which make it more difficult to collect and handle. This aspect makes it reminiscent of the aforementioned mythological creature.

Another theory indicates that the pitahaya is called dragon fruit because the climbing plant from which it comes intertwines through the trunks of the trees, creating a shape that is compared to the body of a dragon.

The PictureThis website, an identifier of plants, flowers and leaves, shares a legend about its origin. According to it, the dragon fruit was created by fire-breathing dragons thousands of years ago. The last thing that came out of their mouths was this fruit. When one of them was killed in battle, the soldiers who defeated him collected the fruit and presented it to their emperor as a coveted treasure. Furthermore, after killing the creature, they ate its meat. They believed that in this way they would gain the strength and ferocity of a dragon, in addition to receiving the emperor’s appreciation.

There are yellow and red pitahayas, depending on the variety, although they can also be found with pink skin. In general, it has many black seeds inside and its pulp is white, although some species have it red and in other shades.