Species Guide: Common Fruit Trees


A small durian fruit with its green, thorny husk. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Common name: Durian

Malay name: Durian

Scientific name: Durio zibethinus L.

Conservation status: Cultivated, Native to Malaysia


A large tree that grows up to 25-40 m tall. It has aboveground roots. Tree crown is large and irregular. Leaves are pointed and alternately arranged. The upperside of leaves is green and glossy while the underside of leaves is silvery or bronze. It bears clusters of bright yellow flowers on branches. The flowers bloom at night and emit a strong odour. Fruits are coated with a hard, thorny husk which is greenish brown.

A large durian tree standing at the roadside. Photo by Goh Shang Ming
The upperside and underside of leaves are different in colour. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Habit: Perennial tree

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds or grafting

Ecological function: The fruits of this tree attract wildlife.

Pollinator: Bats

Soil: Sand, loam, clay

Moisture: Moist, well-drained, fertile soils

Shade: No shade

Use: Ripe fruits are eaten raw or cooked. Seeds, flowers, young leaves and shoots are cooked.

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.