Similarities between Bethlehem Lilly and Dragon fruit Flower

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Jerry John, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Jerry John

    Jerry John New Member

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    I’ve had a Bethlehem Lilly plant at our house long back and have had flower many times. Those flowers would bloom at night and spread an amazing smell which goes almost a block around my house and it withers off in the morning.

    Recently I planted a dragon fruit plant, and was doing some research online about how to take care of it and I noticed that the dragon fruit flower looks exactly same as the Bethlehem Lilly flower. I noticed a lot of similarities between them like the nice smell, blooming at night and withering off by morning, shape color, structure etc. I also saw that in most cases we have to manually pollinate the dragon fruit plant for it to bear fruit else the flower will just wither off without fruit.

    I’m just wondering if the Bethlehem Lilly plant also could bear some kind of fruit if we do manually pollinate the flower. Any thoughts on this? Any information on similarities between these two plants?


  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The plants are closely related, but it depends on what you mean by Bethlehem lily, and dragon fruit also come from different, but closely related species. Selenicereus grandiflorus is sometimes called Bethlehem lily, but is more often called queen of the night. It is very close to dragon fruit species. It seems more likely you would have Epiphyllum oxypetalum. These and other night-blooming cactus are probably producing similar odors to attract the moths that would visit them in the night.

    Hylocereus - Wikipedia
    Epiphyllum oxypetalum - Wikipedia

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