Hawaiian Red Dragon Fruit is a hybrid variety that comes from the genus Hylocereus and the species costaricensisis. The type is known for its perfectly round fruit and firm red flesh with a nice tart flavor. Spicy Exotics collected this variety from a tropical grower in California.
The growth of Hawaiian Red is similar to H. costaricensis in size, shape, color, and thorns. The plant growth is immense and three-sided with medium spins. Hair-like spins on young tender growth tend to break off the plant when touched. Once the plant is mature, a white film protects it from extreme heat and cold. Another characteristic of this variety is the growth tends to curl and twist.
The flower is a large bloom with inner petals white and outer petals yellow fading to red on the tips. The flower buds are similar to H. costaricensisis flower buds, except that the bud petals tend to curl more. In Louisiana, the flower opens a couple of hours after dusk and closes a couple of hours after sunrise. Pollen from the flowers is plentiful yet self-sterile. Spicy Exotics would recommend using any pollen except H. costaricensisis pollen.
Fruits weigh in at a pound to a pound and a quarter. As mentioned in our opening, fruits are perfectly round, and the fins tend to curl out more than other Dragon Fruit. The flesh is firm, pure red with lots of tiny crunchy seeds, and tastes like cherries. A mild sweetness is also present, representing an average brix rating of 16. This fruit is high in lycopene, a natural antioxidant known to fight cancer and heart disease.
In summary, the two significant aspects of Hawaiian Red are its fruit characteristics and overall hardiness. The downside is the flowers are self-sterile, and the young thorns easily break off the stems.