Sunday, February 05, 2023
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Strawberry Pitaya 2Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director of Quinta Mazatlán

There is a saying, “Life is like a cactus, prickly but beautiful” and the Strawberry Cactus is like Life. They flower in April with purple-pink-red flowers with whitish centers. They are synchronous bloomers in that they bloom at the same time to attract pollinators.

Strawberry Pitaya 7The Strawberry Cactus is known locally as Pitaya. They grow in clusters from a few stems to over 100 stems. There are ranches in South Texas with beautiful 100 stem Pitayas.

Their name Strawberry Cactus (Echinocereus enneacanthus) is derived from the edible fruit that has a flavor similar to strawberries. The strawberry fruit is a favorite among wildlife and people have been known to harvest the fruit for jelly.

The Strawberry Cactus is one of the most beautiful of South Texas plants and one of the most successful at surviving on little rain in the Valley. Enjoy the journey and follow us at Quinta Mazatlán on FB and other social media platforms to learn more about our natural heritage in the Rio Grande Valley.