Species Guide: Common Fruit Trees

Durian Belanda

The durian-like fruits of Annona muricata L. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Common name: Soursop

Malay name: Durian Belanda

Scientific name: Annona muricata L.

Conservation status: Cultivated, Naturalised, Introduced (tropical Americas)


A shrub or small tree that grows 3-10 m tall. Stems are slender and low-branching. Leaves are glossy, alternately arranged and give an offensive smell. The upperside of leaves is darker than the underside. Flowers are borne on trunk and branches. Flowers comprise 3 outer petals and 3 inner petals. The outer petals are fleshy, spreading and yellow-green, while inner petals are pale yellow and close-set. Fruit is somewhat egg-shaped, dark green when ripe and covered with soft, short spines.

A durian belanda tree with its spreading, upright branches. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Habit: Perennial tree

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds or cuttings

Ecological function: The flowers of this tree attract pollinators. It is a caterpillar food plant.

Pollinator: Insects, flies, bees

Soil: Sand, loam, clay

Moisture: Moist, well-drained, fertile soils

Shade: No shade, semi-shade

Use: Fruits are eaten raw or cooked.

By ShangMing

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