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Argiope Aurantia On Night Blooming Cereus - Arachnida - Hylocereus Undatus - Panini O Kapunahou
Photograph - Photography - Fine Art
The soul is in her native realm, and it is wider than space, older than time, wide as hope, rich as love. Pusillanimity and fear she refuses with a beautiful scorn: they are not for her who putteth on her coronation robes, and goes out through universal love to universal power - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the black and yellow garden spider, writing spider, or corn spider.
It is common to the contiguous United States, southern Canada, Mexico, Central America and Hawaii.
They have distinctive yellow and black markings on their abdomens and a mostly white cephalothorax.
The etymology of its name means "gilded silver-face".
Males range from 5–9 mm (0.20–0.35 in) females from 19–28 mm (0.75–1.1 in).
Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.
Species: A. aurantia
Night-blooming cereus is the common name referring to a large number of flowering Cereus cacti that bloom at night.
The flowers are short lived, and some of these species, such as Selenicereus grandiflorus, bloom only once a year, for a single night.
The night-blooming cereus is also referred to as Princess of the Night, Honolulu Queen (for Hylocereus undatus), and Queen of the Night.
Regardless of genus or species, night-blooming cereus flowers are almost always white, often large, and frequently fragrant.
Most of the flowers open after nightfall, and by dawn, most are in the process of wilting.
The plants that bear such flowers may be tall, columnar, and sometimes extremely large and tree-like, but more frequently are thin-stemmed climbers.
Some night-blooming cereus plants produce fruits which are large enough for people to consume.
These include some of the members of the genus Cereus, but most commonly the fruit of the Hylocereus.
Hylocereus fruit have the advantage of lacking exterior spines, in contrast to the fruit of cacti such as the Selenicereus fruit, being brightly coloured, and having a pleasant taste.
Since the late 1990s, Hylocereus fruit have been commercially grown and sold in tropical locations like Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hawaii.
Around 2000, the name dragonfruit was created for promotional purposes in English-speaking countries, undoubtedly influenced by the very successful renaming of "hairy gooseberries" as "kiwifruit" earlier in the 20th century.
The unusual exterior of a Hylocereus fruit, with its protruding growths, inspired the reference to dragons.
Hylocereus fruits are also called pitaya.
Increasing commercial cultivation and the hybridizing of new varieties is occurring for this fairly new crop.
However, dragonfruit are usually somewhat expensive during their season (summer) and are still a specialty for most consumers.
A pitaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several cactus species. Pitaya usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while Pitahaya or Dragonfruit always refers to fruit of the genus Hylocereus.
The vine-like epiphytic pitahaya-producing cacti of the genus Hylocereus are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Currently, they are also cultivated in East Asian and Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and more recently Bangladesh.
They are also found in Okinawa, Hawaii, Israel, northern Australia, southern China and in Cyprus.
The fruit was probably introduced by Europeans who brought it from the New World. In the case of Taiwan, the fruit was brought in by the Dutch.
Sweet pitahayas come in three types, all with leathery, slightly leafy skin:
Hylocereus undatus (Pitahaya blanca or White-fleshed Pitahaya) has red-skinned fruit with white flesh. This is the most commonly seen "dragon fruit".
Hylocereus costaricensis (Pitahaya roja or Red-fleshed Pitahaya, also known as Hylocereus polyrhizus) has red-skinned fruit with red flesh. [this is the type we most commonly see in local farmers markets here on Maui so I believe the fruit might be imported]
Hylocereus megalanthus (Pitahaya amarilla or Yellow Pitahaya, also known as Selenicereus megalanthus) has yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh.
Information Source: Wikipedia
Hylocereus undatus - Queen of the Night - Panini O Kapunahou - Night blooming Cereus
Argiope aurantia garden spider on Night blooming Cereus - Arachnida - Hylocereus undatus - Queen of the Night - Panini O Kapunahou
Photographed in my garden on Maui
Copyright © 2013 Sharon Mau - All Rights Reserved
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June 5th, 2013
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