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  • Author or Editor: Delvis Pérez x
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Dragon fruit (Hylocereus sp. and Selenicereus sp.), also referred to as pitahaya or pitaya, is a member of the Cactaceae family and native to the tropical forest regions of southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Its fruit is becoming increasingly popular as consumers seek healthy and more diverse food products. The crop adapts to different ecological conditions ranging from very dry regions to wet ones receiving more than 3500 mm of rainfall per year. U.S. commercial production of dragon fruit occurs mainly in Florida, southern California, and Hawaii. As growers learn more about this crop and how productive it can be, the acreage planted is likely to increase. Twelve dragon fruit cultivars grown on an Oxisol soil were evaluated for 5 years under intensive management at Isabela, PR. There were significant differences in number and weight of fruit per hectare among years. Cultivars exhibited an increase in fruit number and yield from 2010 to 2013 and then leveled off or declined. There were significant differences among cultivars for number of fruit and yield per hectare. Cultivars N97-17 and N97-15 produced significantly more fruit averaging 74,908 fruit/ha. Significantly higher fruit yield was obtained by cultivars N97-17, N97-20, N97-22, and NOI-13 averaging 17,002 kg·ha−1. Cultivar Cosmic Charlie had the lowest fruit yield, averaging only 25.1 kg·ha−1. Individual fruit weight was significantly higher in cultivars N97-20 and NOI-13 with fruit weight averaging 346.3 g. Cultivars NOI-16, N97-18, and Cosmic Charlie had significantly higher fruit soluble solids than others, averaging 17.4%. Some of the cultivars used in this study have shown horticultural potential and may serve as new planting material for growers.

Open Access

Little is known about the adaptability of lychee (Litchi chinensis) to acidic soils high in aluminum (Al). A 2-year greenhouse study was conducted to determine the effects of various levels of soil Al on dry matter production, plant growth, and nutrient concentration in shoots of lychee cultivar rootstock seedlings (maternal half-sibs) of cultivars Brewster, Bostworth-3 (Kwai May Pink), and Kaimana. Soil Al treatments were statistically different for all variables measured in the study but not rootstock seedlings. Total leaf, stem, and root dry weights significantly decreased at soil Al concentrations ranging from 0.42 to 12.69 cmol·kg−1. Increments in soil Al resulted in a significant reduction in the concentration of leaf calcium and phosphorus and a significant increase in leaf Al in cultivar rootstock seedlings. The concentration of leaf potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and boron were in the optimum range for lychee, whereas leaf nitrogen and manganese concentrations were above optimum. The results of this study demonstrated no cultivar rootstock seedlings differences for dry matter production in lychee trees grown under Al stress and demonstrate that lychee is highly susceptible to acid soils.

Open Access