Asunta 3 Dragon Fruit is a hybrid variety that comes from Hylocereus stenopterus and Hylocereus guatemalensis. This variety also has the species undatus in its gene. Asunta 3 is the 3rd clone from the Asunta series. The previous Asunta 1 and Asunta 2 are white-fleshed. We are unsure if Asunta 1 or Asunta 2 is one of the parents. The other parent is the Condor variety. We are confident this is where Asunta 3 gets its purple flesh. Spicy Exotics collected this variety from a tropical grower in California.
Growth of Asunta 3 is identical to H. guatemalensis but two the three times larger. Just like H. guatemalensis, Asunta 3 is a very aggressive grower. Growth is a three-sided heart-shaped rib with tiny spins and bright green. Our two-year-old plant seemed to tolerate the sun as well, and we find this to be surprising when compared to its parents.
The flower is a medium-sized bloom with inner petals being purple, shading to light pink edges and white tips. The flower bud is equally impressive as the flower. In Louisiana, the flower opens at dusk and closes at sunrise. When compared to other Hylocereus varieties, this is much earlier. This flower may need to be manually opened from time to time as it sticks together and stays in its last flower bud stage. Once open, the stigma protrudes several inches from the anthers. We have found the stigma also clumps together during bloom giving the flower another unique aspect. Although we have not tested for self-fertility, other growers say Asunta 3 is self-sterile. This makes perfect sense due to the previous clones all are self-sterile.
Fruits weigh between three-quarters to one pound. Mature skin is a peach color with lemon-lime colored fins and pink to purple flesh. Let us explain further; our first fruit is what we would consider pink flesh. However, as the plant matures to its second fruiting season, it produces pure purple flesh. The first fruits tested had an average brix of 19 with excellent flavor, and we expect this to increase with age. We found the fruit to be very juicy with a grape flavor. One exciting aspect of the fruit is the seeds tend to germinate inside before slicing open the fruit.
So if you grow for flowers, fruit, or just like collecting Dragon Fruit varieties, this is one you should have on your list.