The scientific name for Dragon fruit is "Pitahaya". This type of fruit, originally native to Mexico, is part of the cactus family. It was originally transplanted to Central America and then to other parts of the world. These days it is mainly cultivated in South East Asian countries. It grows best in dry tropical climates with moderate amounts of rain. The skin is red or bright pink and leathery and the inside is creamy white with crunchy black seeds. The skin is not eaten, only the white fleshy part.
I first saw and tasted dragon fruit many years ago on a holiday in Singapore. It is an incredibly visually striking fruit, mostly for the vibrant pink and tropical green colour of the skin. I later painted a tropical fruit still life (above left) mostly because I was obsessed with the incredible colour of the dragon fruit. The actual taste of this fruit does not particularly appeal to me. I'm not a fan of the taste of most tropical fruit and this one is more of a textural experience. The flavour is quite bland. I don't really understand why people would enjoy eating it. I found some in a local market here in Sydney once and bought one to paint, but didn't end up eating it...
I have it in my mind to do some further smaller painting studies of this wonderfully visual fruit in the future. The above painting, completed a few years ago has sold, but prints are available by clicking on the painting above.
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.