Habitat & Interactions

Hylocereus undatus originated in the tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, Mexico, and South America. Over time, H. undatus has been spread to several other areas including tropical and subtropical regions on Australia, Asia, and the Middle East. H. undatus often grows in tropical and subtropical forests, growing on other plants and trees. Compared to most other members of the Cactaceae family, H. undatus requires more moderate conditions. Ideal temperature for H. undatus growth is between 20-30 degrees Celsius, although it can grow at temperatures up to about 40 degrees Celsius and down to about 10 Degrees Celsius. Optimal rainfall is about 500-1500 millimeters annually; although H. undatus has several adaptations that allow it survive in dry years including in short droughts. Too much rain, causing soggy soil conditions lead to rotted fruit. Besides waterlogged soil, H. undatus can grow in a wide variety of soil conditions including soil with relatively high salinity as well as nutrient poor soil. H. undatus is a hemi-epiphytic cactus; during a portion of its life the plant requires another plant or object to grow on while at another part of its life H. undatus will be rooted in the soil.  During the epiphytic stage, the plant can have adventitious roots which grow on and around host plants, as well as aerial roots which often hang down from a canopy.  The symbiotic relationship H. undatus has as a hemi-epiphytic plant to its host plant is one of commensalism.  The host plant remains unaffected while H. undatus benefits by being able to grow higher gaining a better location, and by obtaining some nutrients from the host plant.  To learn about another plant that is epiphytic for its whole life, visit the page all about pineapple.


Learn more about adaptations of Hylocereus undatus.

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