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Red Dragon Fruit vs White Dragon Fruit: How to Know the Difference

The article talks of ways to differentiate between red dragon fruit and white dragon fruit without peeling the skin. Also know about the legend behind the name of this fruit.

Shipra Singh

Can you tell the difference between red dragon fruit and white dragon fruit without peeling the fruit? It might sound impossible but believe it is possible. Here are a few ways to know about the fruit by observing the flowers, scales (also called ears), and, at times, branches.                           

How to differentiate between Red Dragon Fruit and White Dragon Fruit

1. Scales: 

Red dragon fruit and sometimes pink and purple fruit have curvy scales or ears, which are tiny triangles on the fruit body. Their color is green and they are thicker. Also, red fruit has narrower, darker, and more scales than white fruit.  

2. Flowers:

Flower tips of the red variety are redder than those on the white variety. At times, the white variety has white or yellow flower tips. Flowers are fragrant of both varieties.   

3. Branches:

It is a bit difficult to tell the difference between red dragon fruit and white dragon fruit by looking at the branches. However, the branches of the red ones have more thorns than those of the white ones.  

Certain red varieties feature wavy or braided branches, while a few others have branches with well-defined thorns. Branches of white dragon fruit have milder thorns.

4. Nutrition value:

Dragon fruit uses and benefits are many. It is an established fact that deep red fruits and vegetables contain more antioxidants. That’s why red dragon fruit has a higher amount of antioxidants than white ones. This makes it a great food for healthy eyes, blood, and skin. The red variety is also used to make delicious wine.  

However, the red one has higher sugar content than the white one. So, if you are diabetic, you must choose white dragon fruit.  

Due to high sweetness, many people prefer red fruit. Dragon S8 is a super sweet variety. However, there is an exception here: Ecaudor Palora is a white variety and it is found to be the sweetest variety in dragon fruit. The BRIX sugar score of this variety is 23. The other varieties stand at 15.  

Some facts about dragon fruit 

  • Dragon fruit is also called Strawberry Pear or Pitaya

  • There are around 140 species of dragon fruit in the world

  • The chief types of dragon fruit are: Hylocereus polyrhizus, Hylocereus megalanthus, and Hylocereus undatus

  • The main varieties are those with red skin and red flesh, red skin and white flesh, and yellow skin and white flesh

  • Seeds of dragon fruits are edible and tiny, similar to those of kiwi

  • Dragon fruit with pink flesh are hybrids

The legend of dragon fruit 

Why dragon fruit is called so? According to legend, a fire-breathing dragon had created this fruit. This dragon, whenever it breathed fire, ended up producing fruit at the end of its fire tail. Legend knew that there was a fierce battle between the soldiers and the dragon. As soon as the dragon breathed fire and produced the fruit, the soldiers killed it and took the fruit. They presented this to their king.  

It is believed that those who ate the flesh of dragon fruit would gain the strength and ferocity of a dragon.  

Dragon fruit is native to tropical and sub-tropical forests of Central and South America and Mexico. Today, both red dragon fruit and other varieties are grown in about 22 countries including China, Australia, Israel, Malaysia, Taiwan, Nicaragua, Vietnam, India, and Sri Lanka. In India, dragon fruit cultivation is done in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  

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