Little Winnie Dragon Fruit is a hybrid variety from a hybrid Hylocereus undatus & H. stenopterus crossed with Hylocereus guatemalensis. This clone is a seedling created by long-time hybridizer Don Burnett from Southern California. Mr. Burnett carefully selected Connie Mayer and pollinated the flower with G1 to achieve exceptional and rare results. He called this seedling 1-18 before approving Little Winnie’s name for its dwarf attributes. This clone is considered a dwarf due to its minimal root structure, small plant cutting, small flower, and small fruit. Spicy Exotics collected this variety directly from Mr. Burnett. This Dragon Fruit is excellent eaten fresh, in jams, as a garnish, or as juice in drinks. Check out our Pinterest page for other great uses of this variety.
The growth of Little Winnie is dwarf-sized, resembling H. guatemalensis growth but smaller. New growth can have small spines or no spines at all. The plant material is three-sided and bright green, and growth can be sensitive to the elements and react with rust or flesh rot when stressed. This sensitivity likely comes from the H. stenopterus and H. guatemalensis genes. Spicy Exotics is currently testing growing this variety in a hanging basket.
The flower is a small-sized bloom with white inner petals and white and yellowish-green outer petals. The flower bud is equally beautiful, similar to the mother, Connie Mayer. In Louisiana, the flower opens just before dusk and closes at sunrise. When compared to other Hylocereus varieties, this is earlier. The stigma is similar to the mother plant but smaller with thick lobes. Flowers of this species are likely self-sterile, but we are still testing this. Little Winnie will set fruit with pollen from other Red and Pink flesh fruit varieties. Some purple types may work, but we recommend avoiding guatemalensis pollen. White fleshed fruit pollen is a great choice as well. Just stay away from varieties with H. stenopterus genes.
The first fruit was perfectly round, like many Hylocereus guatemalensis species, weighing six ounces. The fruit’s mature skin is a translucent green, making it difficult to determine when it is ripe. However, leaving it alone will eventually show some yellowish-orange color bleeding through the skin. We recommend taking note of when the flower opens. This first fruit was picked 61 days after the flower bloomed. This fruit was also late in the season, which could be a reason for the longer harvest time. Test results from this fruit had a 15.1 brix. The fruit had a good berry flavor and was very similar to its other siblings but milder.
In summary, if you don’t have space and don’t have room to grow a large Dragon Fruit plant, consider Little Winnie “The Dwarf Dragon.”