Thick King is a Selenicereus setaceus variety native to South America. Thick King is the English name where locally it’s known as Cerrado Giant, a subspecies of the Brazilian Cerrados. This variety is found growing naturally on rocky mountains, old tree trunks, and sand soils of high fields in Minas Gerais, Bahia, Goiás, Distrito Federal, Mato Grosso, and Tocantins states. Locally this fruit has high market potential due to its fantastic taste. This variety is considered to have better market potential over the Yellow Dragon due to the visual aspect and flavor. Spicy Exotics collected this variety for a grower in South America.
The growth of Thick King is similar to other setaceus species with olive green color and very small spins. Stems are small for us in Louisiana, however, the mature stem from South America can get very large.
Flower buds emerge as hairy buttons. As the buds continue to grow, the hairs are replaced with spins at the base of the flower. Flowers were small; however, this was our first flower from this 2-year-old plant, and we expect this to get bigger over time. Flowers are Self-Fertile as every flower set fruit with hand pollination.
Now for the best part, the fruit. While the fruit develops, spins transform into a bright pink, having a great contrast with radiant green skin. Once the fruit is ready to harvest, the skin is maroon with spins that can be easily brushed off. In the first year, our fruits were half to three-quarter pounds. Larger fruit is expected in future years as the plant matures. You can see this in the mature mother plant. Fruits were tested with an average brix of 16, and we expect to see more from the sweetness and flavor of this fruit. The fruit taste resembles a Kiwi and Passion fruit mix. We found this to be unique in the hundreds of Dragon Fruit we have tasted and would highly recommend it.