Red dragon fruit

Malaysia’s red-fleshed dragon fruit is not as indomitable as its name may suggest, and big impacts from the Dothirella fungal disease has put the country’s farmers on the back foot.

Dothirella infection has proven hard to control, and has driven some of Malaysia’s farmers to rip out dragon fruit orchards and change crops, reported The New Straits Times.

The disease only appears to affect red-fleshed dragon fruit, sparing neighbouring Vietnam’s industry, which comprises about 90 per cent the white-fleshed variety.

It withers branches and lowers fruit yields by up to 90 per cent, and what little fruit is produced is marred by brown rashes on the skin.