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Durio zibethinus - L.

Common Name Durian
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Seed is poisonous if ingested
Habitats Dense lowland humid forests[ 303 , 307 ].
Range E. Asia - Malaysia.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Durio zibethinus Durian

Durio zibethinus Durian


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Durio zibethinus or commonly known as Durian is the most common Durio species. It is a large, tropical, evergreen fruit tree growing up to 25-40 m tall with up to 120 cm trunk diameter. It has a conical crown and its trunk is buttressed. The leaves are alternate and oval. The fruit has an edible flesh characterized by a very strong distinctive odour. It can be eaten raw when ripe or cooked. The seeds are either boiled or roasted and eaten as nuts. Flower petals, young leaves, and shoots are edible as well. The heartwood is dark red. The wood is coarse but relatively durable and used in interior construction, furniture, and packing cases. Wood and dried rind are used as a fuel.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Durio zibethinus is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender. The flowers are pollinated by Moths.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Durio acuminatissimus Merr. Durio stercoraceus Noronha [Invalid]

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Leaves  Seed  Shoots
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[ 303 ]. The ripening fruit produces a strongly unpleasant aroma, similar to a sewage works on a hot day, but the flesh has a delicious flavour that has been likened to pineapple with cream cheese, or a mixture of banana, caramel and vanilla with a hint of onion[ 200 , 301 , K ]. It is sometimes cooked as a vegetable[ 303 ]. The fruit can be 25cm or more in diameter and weigh several kilos[ 200 ]. Ripe fruits deteriorate rapidly, the best quality fruit being allowed to ripen on the tree[ 200 ]. Seed - cooked. Boiled or roasted and eaten as nuts[ 301 , 335 ]. Flower petals, young leaves and shoots are edible[ 301 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The fruit is used as an aphrodisiac[ 348 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Furniture  Wood

Large fruit tree, Public open space, Humid shade garden, Botanical collection, Conservatory. Other Uses: The heartwood is dark red. The wood is coarse but relatively durable. It is used in interior construction and for making cheaper types of furniture and packing cases[ 303 , 404 ]. The wood and dried fruit rind are used as a fuel[ 320 , 404 ]. We do not have any more information on the wood of this species. However, a general description of the wood for species in this genus is as follows:- The heartwood is pink-brown, red, or deep red-brown; it is not always sharply demarcated from the white, pale yellow-brown or light reddish-yellow sapwood. The texture is coarse; the grain straight to interlocked; somewhat lustrous; it is reported to have a foetid odour. The wood is not durable, and not resistant to termite attack; the sapwood is prone to powder-post beetle attack. It dries rapidly, but thin boards may tend to cup. The wood saws easily and generally dresses smoothly; nailing qualities are good. It is used for purposes such as furniture components, veneer and plywood, light construction[ 316 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Durian is a strictly tropical plant, growing successfully at elevations up to 800 metres near the equator, and up to 18° from it in Thailand and Australia[ 303 ]. At its further distances from the equators, extension growth comes to a halt during the coolest months, when mean temperatures fall below 22?c[ 303 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 40°c, but can tolerate 12 - 45°c[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,500mm, but tolerates 1,200 - 3,500mm[ 418 ]. The tree needs abundant, well-distributed rainfall but it can tolerate 2 - 3 dry months[ 303 ]. Flowering and fruiting appear to be more prolific when the plant is grown in a more seasonal climate, as found at further distances from the equator[ 303 ]. Prefers a sunny position in a deep, fertile, humus-rich loamy soil[ 200 ]. Young trees should be given up to 50% shade, gradually reducing it as they grow larger[ 303 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.3 - 7.5[ 418 ]. Seedling trees can commence cropping when about 7 - 8 years old, whilst grafted specimens can commence when 3 - 4 years old[ 335 ]. Durio species usually flower once or twice a year[ 303 ], though some specimens are known that flower all year round[ 335 ]. The bisexual flowers open during the night and are pollinated mainly by moths and other night-flying insects. Production of the fruit is seasonal and is prone to alternate bearing[ 303 ]. Trees bear fruit best on limbs that are more or less horizontal; upright limbs contribute more to tree size and height[ 303 ]. Pruning dominant upright laterals to maintain 1 central leader is essential[ 303 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in containers at a temperature of 22°c[ 200 ]. The seed can also be sown directly into its permanent position[ 303 ]. Seedling trees only take about 7 years before beginning to bear fruit[ 200 ]. Seeds are recalcitrant; they lose viability within 2 weeks[ 303 ]. Grafting.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ambetan, Civet fruit, Durang kampong, Duren, Durio, Hampak, Kadu, Lahong, Liu lian, Pele diyan, Penak, Pendok, Sempa, Shempa, Sua rieng, Thurian, Tuang, Turen, Turian, Tutong,

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Dominica, East Africa, Fiji, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Jamaica, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Ponape, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South America, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad, USA, Vietnam,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Durio dulcisDurian Marangang, Merangang, Red Durian, Tutong, LahongTree30.0 11-12 MLMHNM402

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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