Durio zibethinus, rare Durian seeds
Durio zibethinus belongs to the family of the Malvaceae, the cotton family. D. zibethinus is native to Sumatra, Malaysia and Indonesia. Today D. zibethinus is cultivated in many tropical areas. D. zibethinus is better known as Durian The Durian grows as a tree and reaches a height of about 40 m. The trunk gets 1,2 m in diameter. In culture the Durian is kept smaller. The leaves of the Durian are simple, elliptic and get 15 cm long and 5 cm wide. They are leathery; the upper side is green and glossy whereas the bottom side is yellow to silvery and has fine scales that are grayish to reddish. The flowers of the Durian have long flower stalks. The flowers are whitish to creamy and hermaphrodite. The stamina are clearly visible, they are longer than the corolla. The flowers have a very bad odor but they bloom only for a short time. The flowers of the Durian are pollinated by bats that like the unpleasant odor very much. The flowers grow directly at the thicker branches (ramniflory). In that way smaller branches do not break down when the heavy fruits ripen. The fruit of the Durian gets really big. It gets up to 30 cm long and 15 cm wide. The fruit is surrounded by a hard pod with woody spikes. The pod is brownish, greenish to orange. It is an advantage to wear gloves if one wants to harvest the fruit. The fruit has several chambers that contain the seeds. The seeds are surrounded by a slimy pulp. The slimy pulp is botanically correct the aril of the seeds. This pulp smells ugly but nevertheless it is eaten by some people. It shall have a sweetish taste although the consistence is strange. To describe the taste is not easy. It is best to eat it, to form an own opinion about the taste. Many people say “It smells like hell and tastes like heaven”. In Asia one can buy it on the markets. There it is eaten raw. Who wants to take some Durian home from holidays may have a problem. Many airlines have forbidden taking Durian into the plane. If the fruit is not fresh and gets bad, it smells even worse, like meat that got bad. This smell is ugly and hardly to remove. For that reason one cannot buy Durian fresh in Europe, if one is lucky one finds some frozen Durian.
Cultivation of Durian seeds
The seeds of the Durian do not need a pretreatment. They can be planted directly into the substrate. At a tropical temperature of about 25°C and constantly moist substrate germination occurs after 5 weeks or sometimes even earlier. The Durian is not winter hardy.
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