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Durian (Durio zibethinus)

Durian (Durio zibethinus) is a species of tropical plant in Malvaceae, an annual tree, everlasting green but there are certain times to grow new leaves after the fruiting period is over, popularly called "king of fruit" and considered a controversial fruit where many people like, but some others are even fed up with the scent.

D. zibethinus grows to 25-50 m, reddish brown bark and irregular peeling, leafy and stretched canopy. The leaves are oval shaped to lanceolate, 10-15x3-4.5 cm, sitting alternately, stemmed, taper or blunt base and taper-pointed sloping, bright green upper side, the lower side covered with silver or golden scales.

Dlium Durian (Durio zibethinus)

Flowers and fruit

Flowers appear directly on the trunk or old branches at the proximal, clustered in panicles containing 3-10 florets or flat-shaped florets. Rounded flower buds, 2 cm in diameter and long stem. Tubular petals, 3 cm long, additional petals split into 2-3 round lobes.

Crown shaped spatula with a length of 2 times the petals, 5 strands and whitish. The stamens are divided into 5 bundles, the pistil's head forming a hump with hairy stems. Flowers emerge from dormant buds, bloom in the afternoon and last for several days. During the day the flowers close.

This flower spreads the fragrance that comes from the nectar gland at the base to attract the attention of Eonycteris spelaea bats, Nectariniidae honey birds and bees as the main pollinators.

This durian fruit is capsule type and is round to oval with a length of up to 25 cm and a diameter of up to 20 cm. Thick skin, sharp and thorny surface, yellowish green, brownish to grayish.

The fruit develops after fertilization and requires 4-6 months for maturation. During the maturation there is competition between fruits in one group and only one or several will survive. The fruit weighs 1.5-5 kg and falls when ripe, so the durian garden becomes a dangerous area during the fruit season.

Each fruit has five spaces, each filled with several seeds, usually three or more items, oval shaped with a length of 4 cm, brownish pink and shiny. The seeds are wrapped in white to bright yellow arilus with varying thicknesses, but in superior cultivars it can reach 3 cm.

Seeds in trade are called ponggè. Durian breeding is directed to produce small seeds with thick arilus where this part is eaten. Some superior varieties produce fruit with seeds that do not develop but have thick arilus.


In Indonesia there are 20 species recorded in Durio which have a total of 30 species and nine of them can be eaten. Research institutes in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have released a variety of superior durian cultivars. In addition there are also local races that are well known but have not undergone a selection stage.

More than 55 cultivated durian varieties and 38 superior cultivars that have been selected and propagated vegetatively including Gapu from Kediri, Hepe, Kelud from Kediri, Ligit from Kutai, Mawar from Long Kutai, Ripto from Trenggalek, Salisun from Nunukan, Sememang from Banjarnegara, Tong Medaye from Lombok.

Bentara from North Bengkulu, Bido Wonosalam from Jombang, Officers from Majalengka, Petruk from Jepara, Soya from Ambon, Sukun, Sunan from Boyolali, Kani and Monthong. The superior cultivars selected in Malaysia included D24, D99, D123, D145, D158, D159, D169 and MD-UR 888.


Durian is a tropical plant to an altitude of 800 m, rainfall of at least 1500 mm that is spread evenly throughout the year, but a dry period of 1-2 months will stimulate better flowering. Fruit season usually comes after a long dry season.

Commercial durian planting on plantations is carried out with a spacing of 10x10 m to 12x12 m depending on the size of the cultivar. Maintenance includes fertilizing, pruning, watering, controlling weeds, pests and diseases. A good durian canopy is rounded in cone shape, with the main branches flat to the side.

This plant requires a deep, light and well drained soil with a pH of 6-6.5. Young trees need natural protection so that the branches full of fruit do not break in the wind. Fertilization is done by making a small trench around the tree. Manure is given when planting seeds.

Natural propagation generally depends on seeds that require a moisture content above 30% by weight and special treatment so that the embryo does not die. Trees start bearing fruit after 4-5 years, but cultivation can be accelerated if vegetative propagation is used.

The techniques used are grafting, breastfeeding, inarching, cleft grafting and budding. Some breeders also apply micrografting when the rootstock is still young, thus speeding up the waiting period. Vegetative propagation trees are able to flower after 2-3 years. Durian is also possible to be propagated in vitro.

Pests that attack durian include fruit borers, flower borers, and leaf-sucking lice. The main diseases are Pythium complectens, Phytophthora palmivora, and fungi that attack the stem.


Durian is cultivated especially for fresh fruit which is generally sweet and very nutritious for its many carbohydrate, fat, protein and mineral contents. The fruit is also preserved by processing it using sugar into a solid pulp and the fermentation process for sauces and seasonings.

Durian is often processed into a mixture of traditional pastry ingredients. Sometimes durian is mixed in sticky rice and coconut milk dishes. Durian is usually mixed in candy, ice cream, milk and various other refreshing drinks as a flavor and aroma generator.

Raw seeds are poisonous and cannot be eaten because they contain cyclopropene. Durian seeds contain about 27% amylose. The seeds can be eaten as a snack after boiling or baking or mixing in syrup. Leaf buds, petals and fruit buds can be cooked as vegetables.

Some parts of plants are sometimes used as traditional medicinal ingredients. The root is used as a medicine for fever. The leaves are mixed with Acorus calamus to cure nail infections. Fruit skin to treat itching and bowel problems.

The rind is also burned where the ash is to normalize the menstrual process, abort the womb and is also used for traditional dye mixtures. Some people in Java put fresh durian skin in the corner of the room as a mosquito repellent.

The white sapwood and reddish terrace. Light, but not very durable and easily attacked by termites. Usually used as home furniture, packaging crates and lightweight construction materials under the roof, as long as it does not come in contact with the ground.

Nutritional value

Every 100g contains 67g of water, 28.3g of carbohydrates, 2.5g of fat, 2.5g of protein, 1.4g of fiber, and has an energy value of 520kJ. Durian also contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, as well as potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

Durian harvest

Durian harvest every year appears in November to February. Ketapang Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, is one of the producers of Durio zibethinus in the world. In this region many endemic species that grow wild in Durio including Durio kutejensis, Durio oxlevanus, Durio graveolens and Durio dulcis.

Non-commercial species are a source of nuftah plasma genes that are very useful for breeding. Various types of wild species are widely found in forests with diverse colors, odors and shapes. Experts are currently researching several types of wild varieties.

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Durio
Species: D. zibethinus



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