UCLA Dragon Fruit variety comes from the genus Hylocereus and the species costaricensisis. Rumor has it someone was traveling into the United States with this variety. Then plant material was confiscated from that individual upon entering the United States. The plant material eventually made its way to the University of Southern California (UCLA). And this is where this variety gets its name.
This variety has thick segmented growth with medium-sized spines. The flower buds emerge with a red outline on the edges of the bud. On the day before opening and the flower bud red highlights turn a deep red almost brown color. The brown color is unique compared to most costaricensisis species. The night-blooming flowers are 14-inches, very fragrant, with lots of pollen. At this time we are unable to say if this variety is self-sterile or self-fertile.
Another exciting characteristic of UCLA is the fruit shape is oval where most costaricensisis species are a round shape. Fruits have an average weight of three-quarter pounds with a deep red flesh. This flesh has a firm texture with a tangy flavor. In 2019, our first fruit with UCLA produced an average Brix rating of 16. We expect this score to improve as the plant matures. Spicy Exotics acquired this UCLA variety from a grower in California.