Hylocereus costaricensis

Hylocereus costaricensis.

Synonyms include Selenicereus costaricensis and Hylocereus polyrhizus.

Red-fleshed Dragon Fruit will grow on the ground or climb.
Like H. undatus the much branched stems can reach 10 m or more.
The weight of the thick, succulent stems can break tree branches off.
The segmented stems have 3 (4) ribs with straight or slightly scalloped edges.
The edges are wavy and remain succulent (H. undatus edges become horny).
Young stems may have a red or purplish tint.

The slightly raised areoles are 2 mm wide with dense, short, woolly hairs.
There are 2 to 6 or occasionally up to 9 short spines in each areole.
The 2 to 4 mm long conical spines are greyish-brown.
The 2 long, pale bristle-like hairs growing from each areole are soon lost.

The nocturnal, funnel-shaped flowers are up to 30 cm long and 16 cm across.
The tubular section consists of the basal pericarpel which is up to 5 cm long.
Inserted on the rim is the hypanthium of fused tepal bases that is up to 15 cm long.
The narrow, overlapping, leaf-like bracteoles or scales are green with purple edges.

The outer greenish-yellow tepals are 1 to 1.5 cm wide with a pointed, reddish tip.
The white inner tepals are wider and have an abrupt, pointed tip (mucro).
The numerous stamens insert down the tube.
The slightly longer style has about 12 yellow stigmas.
The inferior ovary is surrounded by the receptacular tissue (pericarpel).
It has overlapping, green scales or bracteoles up to 3 cm long with purple edges.

The roundish to ovate berries, up to 12 cm long, are pink or red with green bracteoles.
The juicy red pulp has many tiny black seeds.
The fruit are more expensive than the white fleshed H. undatus.