Queen Daenerys Dragon Fruit is a hybrid variety from a hybrid Hylocereus undatus and H. stenopterus crossed with Hylocereus guatemalensis. This clone is a seedling created by long-time hybridized 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 1-4 before approving the name Queen Daenerys meaning “Mother of all Dragons.” This clone has a pink flower, thornless plant cutting, green skin with purple flesh fruit with complex and fantastic taste. Spicy Exotics collected this variety directly from Mr. Burnett.
The growth of Queen Daenerys is a combination of H. undatus, H. stenopterus, and H. guatemalensis that tends to be spinless once mature. You can experience signs of these different genes in the growing phases to maturity. 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 when stressed. This likely comes from the H. stenopterus and H. guatemalensis genes. Under ideal conditions, this variety is a rapid grower.
The flower is a medium-sized bloom with inner petals two shades of pink and the outer petals a darker pinkish red. The flower bud is equally beautiful, plentiful, and similar to Connie Mayer’s buds. 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 undatus species but smaller. Pollen is different from the mother plant, being less clumpy and plentiful. Flowers of this species are likely self-sterile, but we are still testing this feature. Queen Daenerys 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.
Fruits weigh in at eight ounces to one pound. The fruit’s mature skin is green, making it difficult to determine when it is ripe. However, leaving it alone will eventually show some red color bleeding through the skin. We prefer the flavor of the fruit when it is still green as opposed to when it turns color. We recommend taking note of when the flower opens. To get the most flavor, pick the fruit 40 to 42 after it flowers. Colors will begin to bleed through 5 days later. When selecting the fruit green, you will get the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. Test results from this fruit are usually 18 to 19 brix. Picking the fruit five days later will give the fruit a softer flesh that is sweeter, darker, less acidic, and very juicy. This fruit is less desired compared to the fruit harvested sooner. However, it is still exceptional fruit with test results at 21 brix.
In summary, if you’re looking for a Dragon Fruit with lots of rare finds like a spineless plant, pink flower, and green fruit with two different taste profiles, look no further.