Durian Types

Durian Fruit Common Varieties

The Durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. There are 30 recognized Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. There are over 100 named varieties in Indonesia, 300 in Thailand and 100 in Malaysia. Local Durian varieties are officially registered with the government of each country.

Over the centuries, numerous Durian cultivars, propagated by clones, have arisen in Southeast Asia. A Durian cultivar is essentially a specific variety of Durian that has been deliberately selected for desirable characteristics such as fruit shape, size, smell, colour, texture, taste and tree characteristics.  A durian clone is a descendant of a selected Durian cultivar, and is produced by vegetative reproduction, usually bud-grafting or inarching. Most cultivars have a common name and a code number starting with “D”.

Some key common Durian varieties in Malaysia and Thailand are indicated below.

Malaysia

NameOther NamesCodeDescriptionCharacteristics & Further Information
Musang KingMau Shan Wang, Raja Kunyit, Cat Mountain King, Civet Cat KingD197Bittersweet taste with sticky and creamy texture. The flesh can be sweet and bitter within the same fruit.Most popular and in demand variety. Fruit shape is oval to ellipsoid and has a light green husk. The term Musang comes fromGua Musang where this clone was first planted and became very popular among the farmers there.
SultanBukit MerahD24Bitter and has a stronger smell compared to the other durian varieties.One of the most popular types of Durian. It has an ellipsoid to oval shape with a thick, light green rind. It’s commonly known as Bukit Merah which comes from its origin in Bukit Merah, Perak.
Golden PhoenixJin Feng-Generally sweet with a slight bitterness with a creamy texture and strong pungent smell.It has thin and spiky thorns that looks similar to a Phoenix. It has pale yellow-white flesh. The fruits outer shell ranges from pale green to brown and it is is small and oval in shape with sharp horns.
Red PrawnHong Xia, Ang Hei, Ang Heh-Sticky and creamy texture and sweet aftertaste. One of the sweetest tasting Durians.Its name Red Prawn is derived from its vibrant orange red flesh which is unique compared to the other durian varities. It has a brown shell and widely spaced thorns that are short.
D101-D101Creamy and wet texture. It is bitterer and less sweet than other varieties.Its shell is a deep shade of green with a consistent colour with thorns that are long, conical, and very sharp.
D13-D13Sweet with a mild taste. Less fibrous and with larger seeds than other varieties. Smell is less pungent as well.Flesh is brown orange in colour. Typically recommended for people trying Durian for the first time due to its milder flavour. Its shell is typically smaller and a light shade of green than other varieties.
Green BambooTek Kah, Zhu Jiao, Qing Zhu,Buluh BawaD160Mild taste that is sweet and fibrous.Oval to ellipsoid, green and rough, with short, widely spaced spines. The thin rind can be easily opened. Its name is derived from its greenish yellow colour which is similar to bamboo. It has a very hard shell compared to the others varieties, making it harder to open.

Thailand

NameOther NamesCodeDescriptionCharacteristics & Information
Mon ThongGolden PillowD159Its flesh is very meaty and considered one of the least pungent Durians in both aroma and flavour. It has a rich and sweet flavour.Most famous and grown Durian variety in Thailand. It means "Golden Pillow" in Thai. It produces large, elongated, oval-cylindrical fruits tapering at the stylar end. The rind is thick and covered with sharp, pointed, small, conical, densely packed spines.
Cha NeeGibbonD123Channee is more pungent, softer and buttery than Mon Thong. It is also less meaty and has a slight bitter taste.Second most popular and grown Durian variety in Thailand. It means "Gibbon" in Thai. Fruit is oval to broad cylindrical, lobed and greyish brown. The rind is brownish yellow, thin with blunt, large, widely spaced spines.
Kan YauKan Yao, Gaan Yaow, Gan Yau, Gaanyaao D158It has a thick flesh which is creamy, firm, sweet, golden-yellow.Kan Yau means long stalk in Thai. The fruit is lychee to sphere shaped, greyish-brown. It has a rough with moderately thick rind bearing short, sharp, straight, moderately dense spines.
Kra Dum ThongGradumtung, KradumtungD169Its flesh is thick, yellow with a slight bitterness.Kra Dum Thong means golden button in Thai. The fruit is oval and symmetrically or uniformly distinctly lobed. The rind is brownish-green, thin and bears short, sharp densely packed spines. The fruit peduncle is moderately long.