Durio graveolens (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Durio graveolens Becc.

Protologue: Malesia 3: 242, t. 26 (1889).
Family: Bombacaceae

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: durian rimba, durian burung, tinambela (Sumatra)
  • Indonesia, Malaysia: durian anggang, taula, ta-bela (Dayak, Borneo), durian isa (Iban, Borneo)
  • Malaysia: durian merah (Peninsular), durian burong (Malay, Sarawak)
  • Thailand: thurian-rakka (peninsular).


Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan); also cultivated in Sabah and Brunei.


The wood is used as durian. D. graveolens is one of the important sources of durian timber in Sarawak. The aril around the seed is edible but not very juicy, hardly fragrant and not very tasty.


  • A large tree up to 50 m tall, with straight, cylindrical bole branchless for up to 25 m and up to 100 cm in diameter having steep buttresses up to 3 m high, bark surface smooth, finely cracked or flaky, reddish-brown or greyish-mauve.
  • Leaves elliptical to oblong, 10-26 cm × 4-10 cm, densely copper-brown scaly below.
  • Flowers in short cymes on branches, petals 25-35 mm long, white, stamens in 5 bundles, opening by a slit.
  • Fruit a globose to ellipsoid capsule, about 10-15 cm in diameter, orange-yellow, with sharp pyramidal 1 cm long spines, dehiscent into 5 valves while still attached to the branch.
  • Seeds ellipsoid, 4 cm × 2 cm, glossy brown, completely enclosed by a fleshy dark red aril.

D. graveolens closely resembles D. dulcis but differs in the colour of the fruit. Moreover, the fruit opens while still on the tree showing the dark red arils, whereas the fruit of D. dulcis drops unopened and has dark yellow arils. D. graveolens occurs in lowland forest up to 1000 m altitude, in Sarawak on clay-rich soils in mixed dipterocarp forest and on shale ridges. Becoming domesticated in Sabah. Flowering within 6 years after sowing. The density of the wood is about 700 kg/m3 at 15% moisture content.

Selected sources

  • Kostermans, A.J.G.H., 1958. The genus Durio Adans. (Bombacaceae). Reinwardtia 4: 357-460.
  • Tankard, G., 1987. Exotic tree fruit for the Australian home garden. Recent rare fruit discoveries in Malaysian Borneo. Thomas Nelson Australia, Melbourne, Victoria. pp. 117-125.

26, 77, 312, 463, 465, 576, 596, 673, 705, 724. timbers


  • P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen