Ecuador Palora

Ecuador Palora is one of the sweetest dragon fruits there is. In fact, to many people it is hands down the sweetest variety. The Palora tastes like honey or sugar cubes. It has a BRIX score from 20 and above while the other varieties measure around BRIX 15-17.

The Palora dragon fruit is very spiky–just like the prickly pear cactus fruit. There may be around 12 spikes per petal. This makes it harder to pick and handle the fruits. So people usually wear gloves and use a brush to brush off the spikes before harvesting them. If you find these around your grocery stores, you'll more often see them thorn-less.

The outside skin of Palora is yellow and the flesh is white. Its seeds are pretty big. As the skin is quite thick, there's not that much flesh relative to the skin. It's just a bit harder to cut into than the other varieties.

Going from flower bud to fruit takes around 7 months for this variety. This is comparatively long because the other red or white varieties take from 30-60 days to produce fruits. Fortunately, the Palora is self-fertile. So it saves a bit of work hand-pollinating. Growers are hybridizing this yellow specie with the other red/white species in the hope to get that goodness from the Palora but without the thorns.

Thai Yellow

Thai Yellow dragon fruits catches people's eyes with their bright yellow skin and green scales. Unlike the yellow Palora, the outside of the Thai Yellow doesn't have thorns. It looks just like a regular dragon fruit with the scales. This makes this Golden Dragon a bit easier to handle and harvest.

The good side about this variety is that it grows and develops branches quite fast. Compared to some red varieties, this one is about 1.5x faster. In about 12-14 months, you'll get quite a lot of branches and sub-branches with good size fruits.

The downside of this Golden Dragon however is that it needs cross pollination. Unlike the Palora, you need to use the pollen from another specie to pollinate this one. Its own pollen may not work too well to produce good size fruits either. Because of this, people use the Taiwan Red to hand-pollinate this one. It's a bit more work but you get good fruits.

The sweetness of Golden Dragon is not as high as the Palora. It's around BRIX 16, that is, sweeter than some white varieties but not as 'wow' sweet as some red ones. When ripened, the inside white flesh of Thai Yellow turns transparent like jelly. It has a mildly sweet flavor to it with a nice aroma.

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