How to grow durian?

What Durian Seeds Want

We have used multiple methods for germinating durian seeds and time and time again we just keep going back to the basics of what it wants. So let’s briefly go over the requirements of Durio species seed germination. This may hold true for many tropical species as well.

Temperature: Durian seeds need to be maintained at a fairly consistent temperature that is quite warm. 25c or higher at all times. Lower temperatures have worked, but germination rates drop and times increase. Keeping them at a constant 28-29C we have found to be ideal growing them in southern Taiwan. We also find that soil temperature down to 24C is fine, with air temperature being slightly warmer having good effects.

Humidity: Humidity needs to remain high, 90% or thereabouts. Most people confuse this with wet or moist, they do not like being wet, but really like being humid! It is so important no to sacrifice air quality for humidity, always find a way to increase humidity, do not decrease air flow.

Air quality: For people growing durian outside of the tropics, things get a little trickier. High temperatures and humidity levels need to be maintained, but not everyone thinks about the alterations they are making. When growing outside, there are far few pathogen problems as compared with indoors. Indoor air quality is usually very poor due to things like a lot of organic things growing small fungi and releasing spores. Indoors is also lacking in adequate air flow, generally having very stagnant air in relation to outdoors. Lastly outside has UV light from the sun, which cannot be matched with the best indoor lighting, and also has far great natural beneficial organisms. We believe, if your climate allows, growing outdoors even at germination stage is far better than doing the same indoors.

If growing indoors and air quality is going to be poor, it will be tricky to maintain the right temperature and humidity without sacrificing fresh air exchange. Air should change through completely every couple minutes ideally, this will greatly reduce fungal rot and especially bacterial rot as things will not be so moist all the time. This also requires more attention by the grower to make sure things do not dry out.

Moisture & Water: One of the most common mistakes people seem to have with germinating durian seeds is that they keep them too wet. Although they are from the tropics they don’t like standing in constant moisture, even the seeds. The idea is to provide maximum humidity, not high moisture. You wan the area to feel “sticky” but when you rub the seeds your fingers should not become wet from condensed moisture forming on the seeds.

We want to think about 2 things primarily. High humidity without causing actual moisture buildup on the seeds (the soil should be kept slightly moist all the time). And good fresh air exchange. Many materials are great at one or the other but fail at doing both adequately. So what we want is a fairly airy medium that can hold moisture in its body to maintain a high humidity in all of the air pockets it provides. We find clean sphagnum moss to be almost perfect in this regard. Large grade vermiculite and perlite/pumice also works well. We prefer and recommend using the sphagnum moss however and will continue the procedure using that as our medium below.

When the soil starts drying out, water it a little, not so it drains through as you would a real plant, but just to wet the material in order for it to hold a high humidity and avoid dehydration of the seed.

Soil: We opt for a medium clay type soil (from outside) mixed with coco coir and medium washed sand in a 50:20:30 ratio. We may also add some pumice at about 3-7mm grade. This is to allow faster drying times of soil which helps prevent pathogens, but at the cost of having to water more frequently.

Light: We have noticed that Durio seeds that are exposed to light start to discolor and become hard to germinate. I am not totally clear on why but I believe this is due to exposure more than light and is due to simple dehydration causing color loss. Dehydrating durian seeds are bad news and become increasingly harder to germinate the longer they are exposed to open air and light.

Although the seeds should not be exposed to light, at least until the tap root shows, it is important to provide it. This is probably most important to avoid rot, but the seedling will soon need it anyway. We prefer sunlight under 60-70% shade cloth, but under T5/T8 fluorescent fixtures about 15cm away will also suffice.

8 ways to Plant and Care For Durian Trees

1. Identify seeds .

You must choose the best seeds from mature seeds in the tree. Next, choose round and large seeds. Plant Durian seeds in 1 liter poly bag.

2. Watering

Water this plant regularly for half a year until the plants are ready to be planted. The seeds of spinning plants can also be obtained from vegetative results, which are seed multiplication with bait.

Once the soil is free of dirt, you can adjust it so that the soil becomes loose. In areas where Durian grows, drainage channels must be made to avoid standing water. Land management must be done before the arrival of the rainy season.

3. Durian Seeds

The spacing between one plant and another is recommended between 10 x 10 meters or 12 x 12 meters. The Dorean plant has a width of 80 cm, width of 80 cm and height of 70 cm or adjusted to the type and condition of the soil.

The top soil is surrounded by about 20 cm, then separates the bottom of the mine and the left side for 2 to 3 weeks. The transplant hole is closed again with the soil drilled for the first time entering with a mixture of organic compost / compost about 30 kg per hole.

When planting in the rainy season, this must be done early in the afternoon so that the seeds planted directly into the sun are not affected. The seeds usually grow about 5 cm above the base of the stem, and then are tied to the feet / bamboo so that the plant can grow upright.

Newly planted seeds must be shaded to avoid heavy rain and sunburn. Plant cover can be dismantled as a refuge after 3-5 months when the plants begin to age. We recommend that the soil around the plant is covered with grass / straw so that the soil moisture is stable.

Also read:

4. Pruning

Trim roots can prevent vegetative growth of plants during season 1. During that time the plants may not be abstract. Trimming the roots can make plants bear fruit quickly and improve the quality of the fruit to make it harder and more durable.

The best time to cut roots is when the plants begin to bloom. This time in the last two weeks after flowering. If pruning exceeds the line, Dorian plants must be cut at a depth of 60 to 90 cm and 1.5 to 2 m when there are fewer barriers and growth growth. The roots are cut on both sides of the stem.

The shape of the tree must also be cut with certain techniques, which maintain the main stem, cut off the main branches which are expected to be of less quality, such as branches with very long and abnormal growth, attack by pests and diseases, the main branches choose a spacing of about 40-60 cm, So it’s not too tight.

Branch growth is tried to flatten or form a 90 degree angle with the main stem. Connect the end of the branch with a heavy rope. Pruning wild pruning should also be left 1-2 cm from the base of the branch. The height of the tree must be approximately 4 meters from the ground, while the lowest branch is 0.7 cm to 1 meter above ground level. Finally, apply the pesticide to the slim part.

Pruning is carried out with the following conditions. Plants start producing first. Cut small corners, branches and branches attacked by pests and diseases. Branch branches in productive branches leave 1/3 final.

Cut wild shoots that grow in place. Cut branches and twigs that are too narrow, crossed or hidden. Trim branches, weak branches and top canopy to part 1 at the end of the branch. Cut branches and branches that grow toward the crown or down. The height of the dorian tree must be maintained at an ideal height of 3-4 meters or 5-6 meters and apply the pesticide to the section

6. Fruit time spacing

To prevent death periodically, it is necessary to estimate the production time so as not to consume energy for the fertilization process. Estimated leisure time affects survival, fruit taste, fruit size, and frequency of fertility every year. This mitigation process is carried out simultaneously when an abortion occurs. After the end of autumn, you must immediately enter the prison sentence to be stirred, so that it is not delayed.

Distances can be made mechanically and chemically. Mechanical distance occurs when the fruit is as big as a tennis ball. Leave 1 to 2 pieces in a natural way, free from pests and diseases, and the fruit does not stick because they have a gap between the branches on the branches 20-30 cm.

The chemical distance is to spray several hormones, such as auxin A, when the flower or ovary is one month old. At that time some flowers were opened and fertilized. The fertilized flower will continue to fertilize itself when the hormone is damaged, and those who cannot fertilize will die on their own.

Symptoms of plants attacked by fruit diggers are fruits that are attacked before age. The way to overcome this is a technical culture by turning the fruit picked earlier or by milking it under the tree in the afternoon to remove imago. Whereas mechanical culture is collecting fruit which is attacked by pests and falls to be buried. Biologically, it uses ants or other natural enemies, such as Tachinidea flies (basifulfa argyroplax), Ventura and Impago rep. An important stage in how to process Durian.

8. Harvest period

Harvesting is done when the fruit is old and has a distinctive aroma or fruit has fallen because it is old and mature. You can test the results of your harvest and you can sell them if the harvest is abundant.

Attention must also be given to the maintenance phase of the Durian plant so that the body is healthy and productive. Following is the maintenance phase that must be done.

Weeds are removed by removing weeds that grow around the plant about 1 meter from the tree trunk. These weeds interfere with plant growth, so they must be cleaned first.

In the initial stages, irrigation is carried out every morning and evening. Soil should not be immersed for a long time, not much water, so when irrigating, it must consider the volume of water. Water is needed during vegetation from 4 to 5 liters per day. During production or near fruit, 10 to 12 liters of water must be added daily.

After the plant starts the old irrigation is 3 times a week. If the crop is productive, irrigation must be done more often because lack of water makes the tree no longer bear fruit. Dorian trees need a lot of water after harvest to restore these plants to normal.

Fertile Dorian plants can be fertilized with NPK fertilization doses (15:15:15) twice a year. The dosage of fertilizer that can be given is for 1 year plants, 40 to 80 grams of NPK fertilizer per tree per year.

Plant 2 years, NPK fertilizer dosage 150 to 300 grams per tree every year. Plants 3 to 4 years, NPK fertilizer doses 400 to 600 grams per tree per year. Manure, manure and manure, are given once a year at the end of the rainy season, with a dose of at least 15 to 20 kg per tree.

Fertilization in fruit trees can be done in one dose per tree, especially after pruning, 40 to 60 kg of organic fertilizer, 670 grams of urea, SP 890 grams and 530 grams of KCl. When the shoots are old, the fertilizer dosage given is 335 grams of urea, 36 365 grams, and 265 grams of KCl. After two months of second fertilization, urea 180 g, SP 36 650 g and KCl 150 g.

When flowers appear, the dosage of fertilizer is 45 grams of urea, 36 36 grams of 36 grams, and 100 grams of KCl. For one month before harvest, the fertilizer dosage given was urea 180 gram, SP 36 650 g and 150 mg KCl.

The fertilization method that must be done, among others, is to make a hole around the plant with a center line that matches the width of the tree umbrella. The depth of the hole is around 20 to 30 cm, and the floor is placed on my side at the end. After the fertilizer is distributed evenly into the hole, the soil is closed and flattened. If the soil is dry, you must water it immediately.





This spiny, football-sized fruit with the divinely custardy flesh is as much a cultural icon as it is a treasured and eagerly anticipated food. It has been called “hell on the outside and heaven on the inside.” Some people regard the Durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and unpleasant. The persistence of its odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from many hotels and even public transportation in Southeast Asia. The trees themselves are pollinated by bats, and three to four months later, the fruit, each weighing several pounds, plummets down, already reeking with its characteristic aroma. Because of the short duration of its tasty ripeness, durians are expensive, and only by smell can one determine whether a durian is truly ripe. All parts of the durian tree are used in folk medicine, and the flesh itself is regarded as an aphrodisiac. The enormous and extremely valuable fresh seeds are very rarely available, but these are imported to us on a regular basis from Indonesia.

Jackfruit vs Durian – Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Differences between jackfruit and durian

It is believed that jackfruit originated Southern India and dates back for over 5000 years. Durian originated from Sumatra and Borneo. It is first has been mentioned in Europe by 15th Century (1).

Jackfruit is related to the mulberry and the figs, and belongs to the Morocae family. In contrast, durian belongs to the Malvacae family. Jackfruit is the largest fruit growing on a tree; it can reach about 50 kg or 110 pounds, while the largest durian can weigh 14 kg or 30 pounds. About the position of fruits on the trees, jackfruits spring on the trunk or nearby, while durians are spread disorderly along the branches.

Both jackfruit and durian have thorny rind, but jackfruit has rather bumps or pimples, than thorns, that allows to hold it in hands. Durians thorns, on the other side, are sharper and larger, and if you have decided to hold a heavy durian, get ready for a lot of blooding cuts.

Durians are banned in the most of public places, hotels and eventually at airports not for their sharp thorns, but for their pungent odor, it is really awful! Some people describe it as sweaty socks, turpentine or stinky sewer water. Jackfruit is banned in some places too, because of its strong smell, but it smells like bubble-gum with a combination of pineapple, bananas and rotten-onions.

What about the inner part and a taste? The inner part of jackfruit is chaotic, edible parts are interlaced with slimy and stringy fibers. Besides there is stinky and thickened white latex flowing from skin and core. Controversially, durians inner part is well organized; the edible part is concentrated in five hallowed cavities, and there isn’t latex, which make easy to access the fruit.

Fully ripened jackfruit has a gummy, quite dense and fibrous texture. Its bulbs are crunchy and sweet, the flavor resembles the combination of bananas, pineapple, mango or yellow gum of Wrigley’s. Unripe durian has a chicken like flavor, which useful for vegans. On the other hand, durian has a creamy and soft texture, the flavor is something like a mix of sweet and savory, or sweet cheese.


Macronutrients comparison

Before passing to the following part I would like to dwell on that there isn’t drastic difference in jackfruits and durians nutritional content. Anyway, as you can see from the charts of comparison below, durian is higher in calories, fats and carbs. Jackfruit is the winner in this part, despite the fact that durian is also higher in fiber.

Mineral comparison

From the viewpoint of minerals durian wins hands on. Durian is significantly higher in Copper, moderately higher in Zinc, Iron and Phosphorus. However jackfruit is higher in Calcium and Potassium.

Vitamin comparison

In the matter of vitamins durian is medal-holder again. Jackfruit is higher in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B6. By contrast, it is worth mentioning that durian is extremely richer in Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B2, mildly richer in Vitamin B9, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin C.


There are much more studies of jackfruit health impact, than durians. Nevertheless, I have done a little review some of them.

Health benefits

As both of them have almost similar nutrients content, their health impact is analogous too. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and Durian (Durio Zebethinus) have distinguish antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-lipidemic and anticancer properties, that is why all parts of them (stem, seeds, roots, pulp) are being studied nowadays.

According to the study (2) the extract from the heartwoods of jackfruit, containing four antibacterial compounds, exhibited strong a wide spectrum of antibacterial activities. According to other studies extracts from the leaves of jackfruit had strong antibacterial activities against foodborn pathogens (3), and multidrug-resistant bacteria causing urinary tract infection (4). The study (13) is a first report of antibacterial activity of leaves extract of durian comparable to gentamicin.

Anti-inflammatory effect of jackfruits rind, spine and skin extracts had been tested comparable to diclofenac in the study (5), and skin exhibited maximal effect. On the other hand the study (14) shows that durian pulp extract has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

According to the different studies (6, 7, 8) leaves extract of jackfruits noticeably reduces blood glucose and cholesterol level, as well as improves glucose tolerance. The study (15) shows the durian rind extract can lower blood glucose levels diabetic rats.

Antioxidant effects of jackfruit are connected with phenolic, flavanoid, carotenoid contents and Vitamin C. According to the study (9) jackfruit pulp is natural source of these compounds, as well as durian pulp (16).

It seems essential to emphasize that jackfruit has powerful anticancer features. According to the study (10) plant lectin – jacalin, extracted from the jackfruit seeds, has potential preventive activity against colorectal cancer. According to another study (11) another type of lectin – ArtinM, also extracted from jackfruit seeds, may protect against hepatocarcinogenesis – liver cancer. There is also study (12) that shows the role of ArtinM in anti-leukemia treatment. There isn’t any reliable study of durian anticancer effect yet.

As jackfruit and durian are good source of Potassium, they also reduce blood pressure.

Vitamin A containing more in jackfruit protects our eyesight preventing against cataract. It also contributes to our skin protection, healing and anti-aging effects in cooperation with Vitamin C, which is higher in durian. Durian is extra higher in Thiamine (Vitamin B1) and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), also higher in Niacin (Vitamin B3), that ensure the right metabolism, nervous system function, and essential energy for our organism. It also higher in Folic acid (Vitamin B9), which contributes to right formation of germ cells, prevents damage of blood vessels and atherosclerotic plaque formation by decreasing homocysteine levels in blood. It also prevents anemia.

High content of fiber in Durian improves digestion and contribute to the weight lose in combination of containing healthy fats.

The most of studies mentioned above have been done on experimental animal models, and it is advisable not to blindly trust them for improving your health.

Side effects

As jackfruit and durian lower blood levels of glucose, their combination with diabetes medications can lead to hypoglycemic state, so their dose might need to be moderate.

Jackfruit has also sedative effect, so avoid of it if you are going to do something which requires high concentration and attention. It is also not recommended consuming when you have already taken or are going to take a sedative medication.

What about durian side effects and interactions? Given that durian has hyperthermic effect it should not be taken with paracetamol and alcohol. According to the study (17) hyperthermic effect of durian consumption with paracetamol is not significant, but it significantly decreases blood pressure.

Since there aren’t enough studies, those recommend jackfruit and durian as a safe or useful for pregnant, it would be prudent avoid of them.


So, the aim of what has been said above is that durian and jackfruit are absolutely different fruits. Durian is higher in fiber and has low glycemic index. But jackfruit is low in terms of calories, fats and carbs, so it is the winner in macronutrients content. In mineral content durian wins especially given that Copper and Zinc. In vitamin content durian is undoubtedly winner too, especially due to extra higher Vitamin B1 and B2. Both of them are widely used by local people for different treatment proposes, and there is wide range of studies targeted to find scientific arguments of them, which can allow their further usage as a part of medications. Besides, combination of jackfruit or durian with some medications and alcohol may lead to a pretty pickle. Don’t forget about precautions before tasting them.

Here’s The Scoop On Jackfruit, A Ginormous Fruit To Feed The World

Fruits are typically picked in summer and fall. You don’t wait to harvest until they drop of their own accord — by that time, they’d be overripe.

The tree belongs to the mulberry family. And it’s got an impressive lineage. Around 300 B.C., the Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote: “There is also another tree which is very large and has wonderfully sweet and large fruit; it is used for food by the sages of India who wear no clothes.”

Probably was a jackfruit. India is thought to be its place of origin.

As for the name “jackfruit,” it most likely emerged from what the Portuguese called it, “jaca,” which was probably a version of a name used in southern India, “chakka pazham.” Jackfruit has other names, too: kathal in Bangladesh, kanun in Thailand and nangka in Malaysia.

Whatever you call it, it’s a versatile food source — and thus a potential economic boon for countries that market it. Jackfruits can be dried, roasted, added to soups, used in chips, jams, juices, ice cream. The seeds can be boiled, roasted or ground into flour. Even the tree itself is valuable: high-quality, rot-resistant timber for furniture and musical instruments.

Or you can eat a jackfruit fresh.

The jackfruit is made up of hundreds or even thousands of individual flowers that are fused together. We eat the “fleshy petals” that surround the seed, which is the actual fruit, says Zerega.

The edible portion of a young fruit has a slight crunch when you bite in. As the fruit matures, it may remain firm, but in some varieties it becomes softer and more custardlike.

Curious fruit lovers can find fresh jackfruits in the U.S. Zerega has bought relative peewees (12-pounders at about $2 a pound) at Asian markets in Chicago. Crane sees fresh jackfruits at Asian and Caribbean stores in Florida, where the jackfruit is grown on a limited scale and also imported from Jamaica. Bottled, canned and other products are available online and in specialty markets around the country.

All this reporting made us eager to put the jackfruit to a taste test. We couldn’t find a fresh one in D.C., so we bought jackfruit packed in sugar syrup. Since Crane mentioned that frozen jackfruit is “refreshing,” we froze some and also ate some out of the jar.

As potential tasters wafted by, the first comment was, “Oh, it has an aroma.”

The aroma was compared to overripe fruit, packaged fruit cup, smelly feet, stinky cheese and pet food. But really, it wasn’t that bad!

As for the taste: “It tastes better than it smells,” was a consistent opinion. The taste was described as “mellow mango,” a little peachy, a little pearlike. The texture was compared to chunky applesauce or overripe banana. Also a little mealy and stringy.

A taster who grew up eating jackfruits said he found them too gooey as a kid, and after one bite said, “Still too gooey.”

But most tasters liked it. They thought it was sweet in a good, tropical kind of way. They imagined how yummy it would be mixed with yogurt. They liked it semi-frozen (the frozen samples thawed out a bit) and were eager to a try jackfruit popsicle.

But tasters who’d had fresh jackfruits said they beat jackfruit from a jar by a long shot. When pressed, they couldn’t explain why.

We’ll do a follow-up tasting as soon as we can score a fresh one.

DURIAN. The durian is a tropical fruit encased in a spherical or ovoid spiny hard shell, which can be quite large—a single unhusked durian can be the size of a football. Within the shell are five or six segments of golden or cream-colored custardy pulp, the flavor of which is reputed to be so delectable that it is commonly known in Southeast Asia as the “king of fruits.” But perhaps even more notable about the durian than its taste is its remarkably foul odor.

Nasal Nightmare or Palate Pleasure?

Sir Stanford Raffles, doughty founder of modern Singapore, proudly told friends in 1819 that whenever he caught a whiff of the fruit, he would “hold his nose and run in the opposite direction.” The distinguished nineteenth-century naturalist Henri Mouhot found it relatively easy to trudge boldly through the Cambodian jungles when he discovered Angkor Wat, but give him a durian, and his delicate French olfactory senses would be offended to a point of desperation. “On first tasting it,” he reported in his diaries, “I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction.”

What makes the durian both hostile and iconic is the thick rind of the fruit. As cleavers chop through it, an aroma propels upward, inspiring unsavory images: old unwashed socks, subway bathrooms, carrion in custard, fetid cheese. How nearly unimaginable that the taste of this source of nasal distress could evoke such imaginative and savory descriptions as “a bouquet of wild honey with a hint of smoked oak” or “bittersweet butterscotch.” But such is indeed its reputation. The flavors of durian varieties range from nutty (the common Thai chunee, or “gibbon” durian) to butter-almond (the maung thong, or “golden pillow” durian) to crème brûlée (the newly crowned king of flavors, daan yao, or “long-stem” durian).

A Cultural Identity

While no festival is devoted to the durian, its Thai devotees crowd the ten-cent ferries from Bangkok to the province of Nonthaburi, where the finest durian grow, from April through July. There, along the port, the laughter of appreciation, the sounds of thick spiky rinds being chopped open, and a pervasively acrid aroma float and mingle together over the Chao Phrya River.

In 2000, Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan wrote and directed Durian Durian, a movie that explores the lower classes of Hong Kong’s steamy tenement district of Mongkok. The two durian in the title represent the story’s two vulgar, ambitious women, who, like durian the fruit, are repulsive to outsiders but charming to their own society. And, like the Malays (who say “when the durian falls, the sarong falls”), the Chinese consider durian an aphrodisiac.

Botanical Profile

The durian (which the French dub “cheese-vending tree”) is a member of the bombax family (Bombacaceae), a diverse family of trees that includes the thick-trunked baobabs of Africa and Australia, the fast-growing balsas of tropical America, and the kapok-yielding ceibas of Africa and tropical America. The durian (specifically Durio zibenthus ) probably originated in Borneo, and today its numerous varieties are cultivated primarily in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The durian tree, resembling the American elm, is of majestic height, reaching up to 120 feet. For its first five years, the trees are delicate, requiring humid climate and protection from fruit borers and leaf-cutters. From its fifth year, it begins to bear approximately forty fruit; by the tenth year, up to 200 fruits. Each of the spiky green fruits can weigh up to eight pounds, so during the harvesting season, it is most inadvisable to walk under a tree, since, upon beginning to ripen, the fruits fall from their lofty branches.

Humans are by no means the only eager consumers of the durian. According to a Thai maxim, “the first to note the malodor is the elephant, which shakes the tree to bring down the fruit. After the elephant noses open the fruit with its tusks, the tiger fights the elephant for the fruit. Rhinoceros, wild pig, deer, tapir, monkey, beetle, and ant follow the tiger. The human must be very quick to get the durian.”

The Marketplace

Assuming no frugivorous animals have broken the husks, durians are trucked to market, where the durian buyers make their selections. As an iconic fruit, social status is important here, and only the most desperately poor will be satisfied with the lowly chunee. Others will look for the more desirable—and more costly—maung thong pile.

Which are the best in the pile? Some Western writers claim that the odor is the hallmark of a good durian, but in fact the husk is so tough that only a scintilla of the smell can pierce through the young fruit, which takes two or three days to ripen fully after falling. Those experienced in the durian trade know that it is sound, not scent, that identifies an acceptable specimen. The durian merchant will hold the durian by the stem, while the buyer lightly taps on the top of the fruit with a hand or (preferably) a carved teakwood stick. The other hand is held behind the buyer’s ear to catch the resonance of the tap, much as a conductor will catch the timbre of violins in an empty auditorium. If the sound from the durian is a thud, the fruit is touching the husk and not ripe enough. If the sound is hollow, then it is overripe and mushy. Something between a thud and hollow, therefore, is ideal.

The export market for durian is limited, since no airline allows the transport of fresh durian (even in the luggage compartment, the aroma can seep up to within sniffing range of the passengers). Nonetheless, the demand

Durian: Nutritional Information
Components Per 100-gram portion
Calories 153.0
Moisture 64.1 g
Protein 2.6 g
Fat 3.4 g
Carbohydrate 27.9 g
Minerals 103.9 g
Beta-Carotene 140.0 mg
Vitamin B1 0.1 mg
Vitamin B2 0.13 mg
Vitamin C 23.2 mg
source: Ministry of Agriculture Malaysia at

for this “king of fruits” among Western consumers is on an increase. To be sure, canned durian brought some 30 million dollars in exports in the year 2000, with the United States comprising one-third of this market.

Preparation and Consumption of the Durian

Slicing the durian open with a sharp cleaver offers a dissonance of reactions. The smell is indeed fetid, but the compartments within contain generous servings of pulp that is solid (but not dry) and creamy (but not milky). The fruit can be consumed by hand or spoon, extracting the chestnut-sized seeds embedded in the pulp. Fresh durian pulp can be wrapped in foil and stored in a freezer but inevitably loses its delicate taste.

Different cultures use the durian in a variety of ways. In Borneo, the indigenous Iban boil or salt unripe durian, using it as chutney on their sticky rice. In mainland Malaysia, the seeds are roasted or fried and eaten like popcorn. In Sri Lanka, where durian grows wild, farmers will take durian pulp and mix it with curdled buffalo milk, sugar, and sometimes cinnamon or cloves.

Other variations, like durian jam and candy, are made for those who want a taste of durian without the effort of the aroma. Among the most popular recipes is durian ice cream: chunks of the fresh fruit are blended into a puree, mixed with pineapple or orange syrup, and poured onto the ice cream. Fresh durian is also used for a durian “cake.” This Malaysian treat is made with durian pulp and sugar, slowly boiled together and wrapped in palm leaves. These cakes keep up to one year in the freezer. Incidentally, consuming durian, in any form, with liquor is strictly avoided. It is a long-standing belief that fermenting the fruit in the stomach with alcohol can be lethal.

See also China ; Southeast Asia .


Genthe, Henry. “Durian.” Smithsonian Magazine (September 1999): pp. 99–104.

Harris, Marilyn Rittenhouse. Tropical Fruit Cookbook. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993.

Rolnick, Harry. “The Durian.” Kris: Malaysian Airline Magazine, 1982.

Rolnick, Harry. “The Fruit They Love To Hate.” Asian Wall Street Journal, 1981.

Root, Waverley Lewis. Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980.

Stobart, Tom. The Cook’s Encyclopedia. New York: Harper and Row, 1981.

Harry Rolnick

Origin of the Durian

In Africa, on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar, there grows a stand of durian trees near the site of the former slave market. Two stories account for its origin. One is that Arabs had brought back the durian from Indonesian explorations in the eighteenth century. Another story is that the British colonial governor of the 1850s decided to plant every tropical fruit in this garden, but it was the durian that took root and predominated. The durian is beloved by the Zanzibari (although mainland Tanzanians find it repulsive).

Defending the Durian

It has been said that Asians enjoy pricking the somewhat constrained food preferences of foreigners by offering them durian and watching the knee-jerk negative reactions. Usually the results are harmless and amusing, but sometimes when the untrained nose meets the noisome fruit, the culture clash can be more antagonistic than amicable. Some years ago in Thailand, where durian is a matter of national pride, a Thai lady from Bangkok’s red-light district was accused of slashing an American’s face with the sharp spines of the durian. Her excuse was that she had been innocently dining on the durian in the back of a bar, when the American stormed in to castigate the revolting smell coming from the fruit. What choice did this woman have but to claim durian rights and defend the fruit? The Thai magistrate, a patriotic durian eater himself, found the assault was, alas, criminal. But in deference to the noble durian, he penalized the woman the equivalent of a mere five dollars and, as if to underscore the virtue of her actions, paid the fine himself.


Durian, (Durio zibethinus), tree of the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae) and its large edible fruit. The durian is cultivated in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Thailand and is seldom exported. Although the durian has a mild sweet flavour, it also has a pungent odour, which has been compared to that of Limburger cheese; for this reason, the fruit is banned from public transportation in some places. The custardlike pulp can be eaten at various stages of ripeness and is used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. The seeds may also be eaten if roasted.

The tree has oblong tapering leaves, rounded at the base, and yellowish green flowers borne along the older branches. The fruit is spherical and 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) in diameter. It has a hard external husk, or shell, covered with stout spines and contains five oval compartments, each filled with a cream-coloured pulp in which are embedded one to five chestnut-sized seeds. The ripe fruits are eaten by many animals and are an important part of local ecosystems.

Durian fruit (Durio zibethinus).© Hader Glang/.com

Several other members of the genus Durio produce edible fruits and are locally cultivated. Durian is also related to breadfruit (Artocarpis communis) and jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), which are used similarly throughout tropical Asia and the South Pacific.

Common Names: Civet Fruit, Stinkvrucht
Genus: Durio
Species: zibethinus

The durian is thought to be one of Southeast Asia’s most ancient and primitive trees. It grows in lowland rainforests, and is native to Borneo, Indonesia and Malaysia. It bears large, odoriferous fruits directly from its trunk and main branches. Scientists think it is one of the first plants to rely on animals to disperse its seed. It does this by bribing them with a nutritious and smelly food surrounding its seed. After eating the durian an animal would wander aroung looking for more food and deposit the seed far from the parent tree, encased in its own package of fertilizer.

The durian has a lifespan of 80 to 150 years, but can live longer than that. It is believed that durians only die when they are blown down in a storm or cut down by man.

In the rainforest wild durians can grow to heights of 90 to 130 feet and are considered a sub-canopy tree.

These trees do not bear fruit every year. The trunks are straight and about 4 feet in diameter and can form buttresses. bark is dark brown, rough with many vertical splits. It peels off irregularly, an adaptation to prevent epiphytes, lianas and parasitic vines from growing on it. The branches canbe straight or curved and are covered with coppery or gray scales when they are young. There are at least 15 different species of wild durians. D. testudinarumis very rare and is on the IUCN Red List of endagered species. More common are D. lowianus, D. lanceolatus, D. oxyleyanusand D. dulcis.

The durian’s drooping leaves are evergreen and grow alternately on a branch. They are 2 to 10 in long and 1 to 3 in wide, oblong and rounded at the base and pointed at the end. They have a leathery texture and are dark-green and glossy above and covered with golden, hairy scales underneath. When they first appear they are folded at their mid-rib and stretch out as they mature. Seen from a distance they have a shimmering golden sheen to them.

The flowers have a strong odor which attracts its principle pollinator, a small bat called a Dawn Bat (Eonycteris spelea). They grow in clusters of 1 to 45 flowers directly from the trunk or main branch. The large flowers are creamy white to golden-brown in color. The outer part of the flower is fleshy and has 5 fused sepals and 5 petals. Long stamens hang down from the center of the petals. The flowers are hermaphrodites, meaning they have a stamen and a pistil in the same flower. However, the flowers can’t pollinate themselves because the stamens and pistils from the same tree come out at different times. The flowers are nocturnal bloomers and open from around 3 pm to midnight. The pistils with its female stigma come out first and get pollinated by flowers fromother trees. By the time the anthers of the stamen emerge, the pistils on the same tree are no longer active. By midnight all the flower parts except the pistil fall to the ground.

The most notorious part of a durian tree is its fruit. The fruit is ovoid, almost round in shape, and about 5 to 6 in. wide and 12 in long. It can weigh up to 18 lbs. Walking under a durian tree when the fruit is ripe could be hazardous to your health because the tough, yellowish rind is covered with densely set and pointed 3 to 7-sided spines. The durian gets its name from the Malay word duri,which means thorn. Large fruits like the durian tend to grow directly from the trunk in what is called a cauliflorous growth habit. The rind is scored with 5 natural lines of weakness. When the fruit ripens and falls to the ground it splits open along these lines.

Inside are 5 seeds, each about 2 in in diameter. The seed is surrounded by a custard-like aril which smells to high heaven. An aril is part the seed’s own fleshy outer covering. Arils are rare in rainforest plants. Only 1% of rainforest plants have arils. The incredibly strong odor of the durian aril is an advertisement to all kinds of animals that a great meal is waiting for them. Because the seeds are so big the durian tree depends on large animals like elephants and rhinoceros to eat and disperse the seeds. The seeds are tough enough not to be damaged by chewing or digestive juices. Other animals, like monkeys, gibbons, fruit doves, tapirs, orangutans and man enjoy the fruit of the durian.

The durian fruit has a powerful odor reminiscent of decayed onions, Limburger cheese and sherry wine. But the texture is like a smooth, creamy custard and it has a rich, sweet, faintly almond flavor. Many people are hesitant at first to eat the fruit because of its odor, but once they do, they find it delicious and irresistible.

The durian is dependent on a small nocturnal bat, called the Dawn Bat, for its pollination. Without the bat the durian cannot fruit. Not until a few years ago was the importance of the Dawn Bat completely understood. Today the bat’s limestone roosting caves are being mined for the production of cement and bats are being driven out or killed. The mangrove swamps that provide the bat with its other main source of food, the Mangrove Apple, are being filled in and built on. The numbers of Dawn Bats have been declining rapidly, as has the durian crop.

Durian is one of the favorite fruits in Southeast Asia where it is known as the”King of Fruit”. Most of the durians sold in the market are grown on plantations and one durian can cost $7 American dollars. Without the bats there will be no durian, which to many people in Southeast Asia is unthinkable.

E. Benders-Hyde, 2002


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Erickson, E. H., Atmowidjojo, A. H. “Durian”,, (3/28/02).

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Quammen, David “The Great Stinking Clue”, (3/28/02).

Rob and I flew to India under the pretense of exploring India’s other King of Fruit, the mango, but who were we kidding? Following a lead, Rob and I headed into the foothills of the Western Ghats hoping to find durian in India.

Durian is not native to India, but it is slowly gaining a presence among local fruits. Some studies have revealed that durian is effective at treating infertility, giving hope to all those childless couples and sending the price of durian in India, both imported and homegrown, skyrocketing.

Most durian in India is scattered helter-skelter along the backwaters of Kerala and the mountains of Tamil Nadu, left 100 years ago by Indians returning home from working in the rubber fields in Malaysia. It’s hard to find – a perfect durian hunt. I’d heard that there was one state-owned farm that was growing durian near Coimbatore, in a region of the Western Ghats called the Nilgiri Hills.

I couldn’t find much information in part because there are three alternate spellings for the name of the farm. I spent hours looking for information for the Barliyar State Horticulture Farm, before finally realizing that the farm is really called Burliar. The other farm sometimes mentioned in news articles, Kallar, doesn’t have any durian trees.

Rob and a worker at Burliar State Farm with durian trees in background

How To Get To Burliar

We took an express train to Coimbatore, and from there a bus to Mettupalayam about 30 km away. The roads were good, and it slightly less than an hour. We spent the night in Mettupalayam, and were tickled to find durian being sold at the fruit stand less than 50 feet from our hotel!

Apparently people really believe in the durian’s powers as baby maker, because the price was even more outrageous than what we paid for imported Thai durian in Kochi — it cost 900 rupees ($15 USD) per kilo.

We love durian, but even we didn’t feel up to shelling out that much money. We decided to save our dollars and our appetite for the morning.

Finding the farm was easy. It’s on the main road between Mettupalayam and Ooty, and happens to be where buses traversing that route stop to let passengers to buy snacks and use the relatively clean toilets, including a female urinal. That was a new one for me. Along the road fruit sellers with pomelos, passion fruits and durian mix with vendors selling chips, roti, and samosas.

The bus stop at Burliar

Most of the durians looked pretty old, with wizened stems and splitting seams. Rob and I were not inspired. We decided to explore more before making any decisions – you never know, we might get lucky and find a freshly fallen one!

The Burliar farm is 6.25 hectares (~14 acres) of soft winding paths through huge, mature jungle and fruit trees. It was established in 1871 under the British, and not much seems to have changed since then. Entry is free, and there is some perfunctory information about the farm at the entrance, although no one speaks English or seems prepared for tourists. It became clear to us that we weren’t going to find the durian on our own in this 14 acre labyrinth.

We spotted a worker picking mangosteen and asked him about durian, pointing wildly in all directions. He seemed to understand, and led us down the steep terraced hillside, nimbly jumping over rocks in his flipflops. When we arrived at a stand of huge trees, he pointed high into the treetops and grinned. Squinting, I could just barely make out the spiky shadows of durians swinging high over ahead. These trees were enormous, the like of which I hadn’t seen since our adventures in Borneo.

Rob and I of course got excited, which made our guide grin. He then leaped back down the trail and pulled back a grey tarp neither Rob or I had noticed, revealing around 30 bright green, oblong little durians that had obviously just fallen that night. How awesomely fortunate!

The fruits didn’t have much odor, but we found a small one that seemed good and decided to take the gamble. At 700 rupees a kilogram, it really was a gamble.

So worth it.

The durian was very similar to the kampung durians we have eaten in Indonesia and Malaysia, with a grey white color and 4-5 seeds per pod. As is common in durians grown by seed, what it lacked in quantity it made up in quality. Each melt-in-your-mouth piece was whipped cream smooth, mildly bitter with a refreshing coolness that still puzzles me. Despite it’s somewhat lackluster appearance, it was so delicious!

Find this Durian Farm in India

Burliar State Horticulture Farm is located on the Ooty-Coimbatore National Highway 67, sometimes called the Ghat Road, about halfway between Coonoor and Mettupalayam. It is open from 9-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Durian is available in July and August.

Interested in Mangoes?
We had a great time at the International Mango Festival and exploring the Mango Belt.

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Musang King Durian Flavor Ice Cream is a Big Hit in India!

We all like ice creams!! Isn’t it!! Ice creams come in different flavors – for example, strawberry ice cream, mango ice cream etc. Ice creams have always been in demand all over the world. And now Durian fruit ice cream is gaining popularity. In view of the same, the manufacturers are trying to capture the Global Market.

Durian is not native to India, but it is slowly gaining a presence among local fruits. It is revealed from the traditional plant and fruit-based old Dadi-Nani nuskhe that durian is effective at treating infertility, giving hope to all those childless couples and sending the price of durian in India, both imported and homegrown, skyrocketing.

Most durian in India is scattered helter-skelter along the backwaters of Kerala and the mountains of Tamil Nadu left 100 years ago by Indians returning home from working in the rubber fields in Malaysia. It’s hard to find – a perfect durian hunt.

Durian fruit is generally slightly oval, about a foot wide and covered in formidable looking spikes. The fruit can weigh between 2-7 pounds, and this is heavy enough that in holding it in your hands by the body of the fruit, instead of the stem, it could potentially pierce the skin. However, its otherworldly appearance is dwarfed by another one of its attributes – the smell. Durians have a strong, rank smell that permeates the outer shell and lingers long after the fruit has been removed.

Despite the stench, durian is extremely healthy, even more so than many other fruits. Naturally rich in iron, vitamin C, and potassium, durian improves muscle strength, skin health and even lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, one small durian contains 23g of dietary fiber which is nearly all daily nutritional requirements. However, it is important to not eat them in excess, as in 2010 Malaysian politician Ahmad Lai Bujang was rushed to hospital complaining of breathlessness and dizziness after gorging himself on durian.

The fruit changes significantly over a very short period of time. When it is harvested early, it is almost considered a vegetable because the flesh is hard, easy to handle and bitter, rather than than sweet. People who enjoy eating durian usually prefer the fruit to be over-ripened, when the citrus and sweet flavors are much more prominent. Traditionally, durians are eaten after they have fallen to the ground on their own accord; however, durian farms often harvest the fruit earlier in order to ship them overseas.

There are around 30 different varieties of durian. The fruit is native to Malaysia, Indonesia  and Borneo however today there are durian farms in Sri Lanka, Southern India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and the southern Chinese island Hainan. Thailand is, in fact, the biggest exporter of the fruit and home to many durian farms which produce more varieties than the original native locations.

Durian ice cream, a favorite of many people in Singapore, South Korea, Australia or Japan has its basic ingredient in fact exported from North Sumatra. North Sumatra Crop and Horticulture Agency program subdivision head Yusfahri confirmed that at least 10 countries -Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, and Brazil -routinely imported durians from the province in the last seven years.

Malaysia imports the biggest volume of durians, followed by Japan, Vietnam, Brazil and Thailand. The data from 2017 show that Malaysia imported 901.21 kilograms of durians, Japan imported 480.17 kg, Vietnam 371.90 kg, Brazil 284.20 kg and Thailand 240.60 kg.

Yusfahri said the exported durians were already processed because most of them would be manufactured into ice cream. He said many more Asian countries, as well as those in South America, had expressed their interest in importing durians from North Sumatra, yet as the supply was limited the province so far could only meet the demand from these 10 countries.

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