Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Durian
Durio zibethinus

Family: Bombacaceae
Genus: Durio (DOO-ree-oh) (Info)
Species: zibethinus (zy-beth-EE-nus) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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3 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Dec 31, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This tree evolved the smell to signal to orangutans, who eat the fruit and spread the seeds, that there is ripe fruit. It can be smelled (at least by orangutans) over a mile away.

Positive the1pony On Nov 24, 2009, the1pony from (Pony) Lakewood, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Smells like raw sewage, but tastes pretty good, though the strong smell tends to burn itself into the back of the throat if you dare to breathe while eating the fruit. It's definitely worth trying though, if the opportunity presents itself.

My BIL grew up in Singapore, and he occasionally buys a durian to eat at home. He's not allowed to have it inside the house, because the... aroma... is so strong and lingering.

Positive Gangajay On Jul 6, 2009, Gangajay from Marine Parade
Singapore wrote:

I love this fruit! It's quite funny reading the reactions of people who haven't grown up in Southeast Asia. To most people growing up here the smell is great, and it tastes wonderful. A bit like toffee custard, although the taste and texture will vary depending on the cultivar. Most non-SEAsians think we're lying or pulling a prank when we say that we actually like the smell, but it's true!
There used to be two main seasons, but now you can get them pretty much all year round, although prices are higher outside the main season. Prices are also different for different cultivars.
It's so popular that the newspapers run features about popular cultivars during the main season, and the best places to buy them. Right now the most popular (and therefore most expensive) cultivar is 'Cat Mountain King' from Pahang in Malaysia.
People in Thailand prefer to eat it a little under-ripe, and so they pick the fruit, but Malaysians and SIngaporeans prefer them fully ripe, and so prefer fruit which have fallen from the tree.

Neutral chubbydoll On Mar 8, 2009, chubbydoll from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

my boss is Filapino and he says that durian is the fruit that.." smells like hell but tastes like heaven". He brougth back some candy from his last visit home it is reminded me of propane. But he insists on how delcious it is. To each his own

Positive joegee On Jan 5, 2008, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have yet to behold the majestic durian tree, but I have now tasted the fruit (in canned form, from a local Asian market.) I find it delicious, with only the slightest disagreeable odor. It's especially tasty chopped and mixed with yogurt, which to my nose cancels out the mildly disagreeable odor of sour milk.

The flavor is truly magnificent, like a perfectly ripe strawberry pureed in amaretto with a splash of mango juice.

I will purchase this fruit again, and inflict it on my friends. >:) Even better, some day I'll taste it fresh in one of the markets where it is sold.

Neutral sterhill On Jan 2, 2007, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I ran into this fruit in Malaysia - the smell is beyond all belief. Like rotted meat that has turned to slime! Your mind can't believe anyone could EAT this! The hotels all had signs with the international circle with a line across it with a picture of a durian in the middle to indicate that no one should bring one into the hotels! People say it tastes far different than it smells but I just could not test that theory. They are so big and spiked, that growers put warning signs under the trees and many have sturdy bags tied around the bigger fruits so they won't fall prematurely - they would kill you if they hit you on the head. They are very interesting looking though.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lakeland, Florida
Pepeekeo, Hawaii

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