Durian King of the Tropical Fruits

Real Estate Agent with Clark Realty Corp. Orchid Isle Office

The fruits are large with pyramidal spines on the shell. The size can range from 2 to 10 pounds for most cultivars.  Durian is an acquired taste for most who grew up outside of tropical southeast Asia.  You just have to get past the smell the first time.  I leave the fruit outside on the lanai until I'm ready to clean it.  When ripe, the shell can be split relatively easily. It is actually difficult to describe the taste accurately since it is rich and complex flavor.  The flesh is creamy with hints of almond/walnut and maybe roasted garlic. Some varieties have a sweeter fruity taste.  It is one of my favorites.  Tourist visiting Hawaii or other tropical areas should not bring it back to their hotel rooms and leave it; the odor in an enclosed area can become overwhelming. 

The tree can become large reaching about 60 to 80 ft.  Leaves are deep green on top and gold underneath.  It seems to grow well with light applications of fertilizer or mulch.  Growth is definitely faster in good soil but it will tolerate poor rocky areas if given adequate water during droughts.  Seedlings take 8 to 10 years to bear fruit. Grafted trees can take 7 or 8 years.   This plant is native to low elevations in tropical Southeast Asia.  Best growth is warm humid areas where temperatures rarely fall below 60F.   

Botanical name: Durio zibethinus. Family: Bombacaceae.  There are several other species that are cultivated for edible fruit. Most species of this genus are native to Indonesia or Malaysia. 

Durian fruit (Durio zibethinus)

Comments (1)

Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Interesting innards . . . looks like someone's kidneys, or lungs  . . . something internal.


Dec 17, 2009 10:40 AM