Asunta 4 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 4 is the 4th clone from the Asunta series. The Asunta 3 and Condor variety are the two varieties used to create Asunta 4. The results are a much larger fruit with less flavor compared to each of its parents.
Growth of Asunta 4 is identical to H. guatemalensis but two the three times larger. Just like H. guatemalensis, Asunta 4 is a very aggressive grower. The plant material 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. Spicy Exotics collected this variety from a tropical grower in California.
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 opened, the stigma protrudes several inches from the anther. 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 4 is self-sterile. This makes perfect sense due to the previous clones all are self-sterile.
Fruits weigh in between one to two pounds. Mature skin is a peach color with lemon-lime colored fins and pink to purple flesh. Our first fruit harvested was just shy of 2 pounds and had an average brix of 15. We found the fruit to be very juicy, and the flavor would be comparable to a undatus species. We also found little to no H. guatemalensis type flavor in this fruit. One exciting aspect of the fruit is the seeds tend to germinate inside before slicing open the fruit.