Palora is a Dragon Fruit variety from the genus Selenicereus and the species megalanthus. It gets its name from the town where it is grown commercially called, Palora, in Ecuador, South America. This variety is similar to its relative Yellow Dragon, with a few exceptions. Growth is not as sensitive and more aggressive with a similar appearance, and fruits are more significant with the same flavor and texture. These two differences make Paloria a superior variety. Like most Hylocereus species, Palora differs in color, harvesting time, and spines on the fruit. For these unique differences, Spicy Exotics uses the genus Selenicereus for its classification. Spicy Exotics acquired this variety from a tropical nursery in Florida.
The growth of this variety is long and segmented up to four feet per segment. Medium-sized spines occur along each three-sided edge. Growth is olive to dark green, and, as mentioned before, growth very aggressive. Spicy Exotics has found this variety hardy down to 32. In February 2018, we experienced temperatures as low as 17 degrees and an average temperature of 25 degrees for 72 hours. The Palora mother plant died back to the base rebounding, flowering, and fruiting in 2019.
Flowers are bell-shaped and very fragrant, typical of megalanthus species. Blooms measure around 14 inches when fully open. At 10 PM, CST blooms become fully open, and a sweet scent fills the air. Flower bud to flower took 40 days, and this variety is self-fertile.
Dragon Fruits of Palora are unique, with an exterior appearance that is yellow. When on the vine, they are covered with spines. However, they have about half the spins compared to Yellow Dragon, and the fruit is two to three times the size. Not to worry about the fruit thorns. They brush off quickly once the fruit is ready for harvest. The flesh is white with hints of transparency. The seeds are more substantial than other Hylocereus species and have a bit more crunch. The first fruit tested in 2019 had an average brix score of 20. The fruit was pleasant to eat, mainly having a sweet flavor.