Are Dragon Fruit Thorns Poisonous or Toxic?

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Are Dragon Fruit Thorns Poisonous
Are Dragon Fruit Thorns Poisonous?

After researching this question for some time and looking into as much data as I could find about the topic, it seems that there is a little conflicting information regarding dragon fruit thorns being poisonous. Here is what we have found out.

Dragon fruit thorns are not poisonous or toxic but like any thorn that may prick you and break the skin, you may have a histamine response, which is the bodies immune response to the skin being penetrated with some foreign organic matter. It should disappear in a day or two unless you are allergic to dragon fruit. You could rub a little rubbing alcohol into the affected area to help kill any pathogens that may have penetrated the skin.

If a small piece of the thorn remains in your skin and its too deep to remove, the body’s immune response will surround the offending piece with pus and eventually push it out.

Remember, dragon fruit is a member of the cactus family, and as such the spikey thorns are a means of defence and are not poisonous. What you have to be careful of is an infection, which may result due to some foreign matter, such as bacteria or fungi entering the wound that may be sitting on the cactus surface, or that may enter the wound from some other source if it is not properly cared for and cleaned.

This is especially the case if the spine breaks off and remains in the skin for a long period of time.

Dragon fruit is similar to the prickly pear family of cactus; however, dragon fruit does not have spines on the skin, except for some of the yellow varieties, which happen to also be the sweetest. Dragon fruit does have sharp spines on the vines. As when working with any cactus it is advisable to wear some protective gloves to prevent being pricked with the spines.

How To Remove Thorns From Yellow Dragon Fruit

Yellow Dragon Fruit Thorns
Yellow Dragon Fruit Thorns

The yellow dragon fruit or Hylocereus Megalanthus has yellow skin with lots of sharp thin thorns. The red dragon fruit variety does not have the thorns on their skins, just on the vine.

If you are growing the yellow variety of Dragon Fruit, you will need to remove the thorns before handling. This can easily be done by gently brushing the skin with a dust bin brush when the fruit is ready to be picked.

The thorns on the yellow fruit serve a purpose to protect the fruit from animals while it is ripening. As it gets ripe the thorns start to come away fairly easily. That’s why a dustbin brush is all you need to brush the thorns off the fruit before you pick it.

Its interesting to note that the yellow variety of dragon fruit that has the thorns on its skin can only be ripened on the vine. You should not harvest them before they are ripe.

How to Remove Dragon Fruit Thorns From Your Skin If You Are Pricked.

If you are pricked by the dragon fruit thorn, but the thorn does not stay in the skin then all you will need to do is sterilize the wound by washing it with some clean water and soap and then rub with some rubbing alcohol. You might want to cover the wound with a plaster to prevent further dirt or foreign matter from entering the wound.

If the thorn breaks off in the skin, you will need to remove the thorn. To do this you will need a sterilized needle. A quick way to sterilize the needle is to use a lighter and hold the flame over the needle for a few minutes. Another way is to wash the needle using a little rubbing alcohol.

Once the needle has been sterilized you can use it to extract the piece of thorn that’s stuck in the skin. If there is some piece of the thorn visible you should be able to use some tweezers to grab hold of the visible part and pull it out.

It is important to remove the thorn as bacteria or foreign matter may cause infection.

If you begin to develop a fever, this is more than likely a sign that you have an infection.

If you find that the wound area does become red, or swollen and tender, or if it becomes hot to touch, this could also be an indication of infection.
If an infection happens to be left untreated, it could potentially become systemic, a condition that is also known as blood poisoning, so you should keep checking for the signs of infection.

Does Dragon Fruit Plant Have Thorns?

Well, if you haven’t already worked it out from the above material, then let us conclude by answering this question.

The dragon fruit plant does have thorns. The vines or branches have thorns or spikes, as is the case with cactus. The red variety of dragon fruit do not have spikes or thorns on the fruit, however, the yellow variety of dragon fruit do have thorns on the skin.

Do Dragon Fruit Plants Have Thorns?
Do Dragon Fruit Plants Have Thorns?

If you are working with dragon fruit, to prevent getting a ‘thorn in your flesh’, so to speak, in the first place, it is very advisable and easy just to wear gloves. Use gloves when working around dragon fruit vines or yellow dragon fruit that still has the thorns on the skin.

Juan & Raquel

We are Juan & Raquel, the guys behind Fruit Information. We've been interested in fruit over the last few decades and have been busy with improving our knowledge of the different varieties. I, Juan, have been almost a fruitarian for over a decade and almost solely living on fruits as my main dietary intake. My wife Raquel has worked on a fruit farm and also worked in a nursery and seedlings shop. She is a very experienced and knowledgeable farmer. We have recently undertaken a new Dragon Fruit farm with friends.

2 thoughts on “Are Dragon Fruit Thorns Poisonous or Toxic?

  1. Is it wise to have a dragon fruit in our home? We have a plant we received as a gift. It is all green, without flowers.

    1. I have never grown a dragon fruit inside, all of my dragon fruits have been grown outside. You can always try and grow it inside.

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