Monday, July 11, 2011

Durian - King of Fruits

Durian has become almost synonymous with Davao City because of its abundance, and because of its scarcity in other parts of the Philippines, many have sought after this exotic fruit. Durian is widely known as the “King of Fruits”, and is abundant in Davao. Davao's rich fertile volcanic soil and climate make it most suitable for sustained production of the freshest and tastiest Durian. Since the fruits are locally produced, the prices are comparably much cheaper than anywhere in the country.

Davao City is typhoon-free. The city enjoys a balmy weather all year round. It is characterized by a uniform distribution of rainfall, temperature, humidity, and air pressure. It has no pronounced wet or dry season. Weather predictability makes it highly conducive to agricultural production. Temperature ranges from 20 to 32 degrees Celsius, and the average rainfall is up to 2,000 mm yearly.

Durian is considered by many an aphrodisiac

Durian belongs to the genus Durio and the Malvaceae family. Its distinctive large size and infamous pungent odour, and its formidable dark khaki or dull green thorn-covered husk with thick, short, pointed spines, earned its name as the "King of Fruits". It can grow as large as 12 inches long and 6 inches in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms. Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk from green to brown, and its flesh from pale yellow to red, depending on the species. The edible flesh emits a distinctive pungent smell, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. While some people regard the Durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust. Its infamous odour, however, has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation. Durian is considered by many an aphrodisiac.

Although Durian is usually in season during August to October, it is available year-round.

Davao City produces at least 16 varieties of Durian

There are several varieties of Durian in Davao, and each has its own unique characteristics, but the locals agree that the best source of Durian in Davao is in Calinan. Calinan is about 30 minutes drive from downtown Davao City. Calinan has a very fertile land and cool climate all year round that make it suitable for growing fruits like Durian, mangosteen, pomelo and marang and rambutan.

Durian Varieties

Davao City produces at least 16 varieties of Durian. One of the two common varieties in the City is Arancillo, which is considered as one of the oldest varieties in Davao City. Arancillo, named after Vicente Arancillo, former BPI-PhilFruits Director, is considered the best variety because of its delectable taste. First found in Catalunan Grande, Arancillo Durain has a 30 percent edible portion but, easily rots when ripe during rainy season.

Flesh is Chrome yellow, sweet firm, soft and buttery with mild aroma

Unlike the other variety, the Puyat Durian is much sturdier and retains its luscious tastes  even during heavy downpour. Its fruit can weigh as much as seven kilos and its tree can bear as many as 100 fruits.

Among the Durian trees with high resistance to sickness are Chanee, Mon Thong, Lacson 1 and Lacson 2, and Karnyaw all of which originated in Thailand.

Flesh is Golden yellow, thick and sweet with mild aroma

Chanee Durian, is the very first variety that spread among Durian farmers in Davao Region, and which preceded the Arancillo vatiety. 

Mon Thong
Flesh is Golden yellow, thick and sweet with mild aroma

Only a few Durian farmers in Davao City is actually planting the Mon Thong variety. It was once a popular variety but after BPI-PhilFruits conducted comparative analysis of the fruit, the Monthong was found to be of a Soriano and Obusa variety of Durian. The Soriano and Obusa Durian originated in Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

Lacson 1 and Lacson 2 Durian varieties
Flesh is Yellow, sweet with mild aroma

The other popular varieties are the Lacson 1 and Lacson 2 Durian named after the place where they were found – in Lacson, Calinan. 


Another Durian variety with high resistance is Karnyaw which means "long stalk" in Thai. 

Flesh is Yellow orange, firm and thick with mild aroma

Another Durian variety is GD69 (Galang Durian 69 - the figure referring to the tree number). GD69 is usually bigger than other varieties, and it is one of the most sought-after Durian fruits due to its larger 40 percent edible portion. GD69 is popular among farmers as it produces fruits at age two or three years.

Flesh is  Barium yellow, sweet and glutinous

Mamer variety is known among Dabawenyos as the native Durian, and is considered as the best native variety in Calinan. Named after Mamerto Fernandez, Mamer Durian with a 25 percent edible portion is common in Barangays Serib and Dumalang in Calinan.

Alcon Fancy
Flesh is canary yellow, glutinous, mild aroma, sweet with slightly bitter taste

Another Calinan Durian is the Alcon Fancy. This variety of thicker flesh and edible portion reaching to 40 percent, rarely found its way in fruit stands as Durian lovers usually buy them directly from Alcon farms in Tugbok that produce them.

Flesh is  Golden yellow, thick and sweet with mild aroma

Other Durian varieties are Atabrine (native), and Duyaya (Durian and Biyaya) which was named after farmer-scientist Severino Belviz of Calinan. Duyaya is a first generation of Mon Thong variety.

With asexual propagation, commonly called as grafting, several varieties of Durian emerged in Davao City. A new variety can be brought to the BPI-PhilFruits for evaluation and can be named after its owner.

Malaysian D101

Other varieties of Durian are Malaysian D101, Malaysian D24 and M-Dur 88 which are found sporadically in the Davao region. 

Malaysian D24

M-Dur 88

 Red-Prawn Durian

There are other Durian varieties: such as the red-prawn variety which came from Balabagan, Lanao del Sur; the so called Pink Durian from Dulag, Butuan;

Pink Durian

Thornless Durian

And the Thornless Durian which weighs as much as two kilos. The Thornless Durian variety was planted by former president Diosdado Macapagal in 1965 near one of the offices of BPI-PhilFruits.

Brunei Durian is reportedly what the King of Brunei loves to eat

One of the varieties of Durian which farmers in Davao City are planting is the Brunei variety which yields small fruits with two or three seeds and looks similar to a sea urchin with sharp thorns close to one another. Because of its size, it was not recommended to Davao farmers but many of the Durian growers were persuaded to plant them since said variety is reportedly what the King of Brunei loves to eat.

Brunei Durian scions found their way to Davao market when BPI-PhilFruits sold them to farmers asking for shoots. It was sold then for P250 per seedling.

Though not recommended for commercial use, the Brunei Durian tree is used as root stock for other varieties because of its sturdy qualities that can withstand fungus attack and other diseases.

Davao City is not only one of the top producers of Durian, but is also one of the top markets for the King of Fruits. Durian is Davao Region’s second top produce, next only to banana. This exotic fruit enjoys the second highest percentage of increase among the other fruit crops in the region, with a 15.59 percent rate of increase in production from 2008 to 2009.

Mindanao is a top market for Durian with 80 percent of the population are Durian consumers, while only 20 percent are non-Durian eaters. whereas in Luzon and Cebu only 15 to 20 percent are Durian eaters and the majority or 80 percent are non-Durian eaters, Davao alone consumes 15 tons of Durian per day. With an estimated 1,000 kilos per ton of Durian, that means 20,000 kilos of Durian are eaten by Dabawenyos on a daily basis, on the average.

Below are some of the popular products made from Durian:

Durian Sweet Candies

Durian Chocolates

Durian Coffee Gelato

Durian Jam

Magsaysay Fruit Market

In Davao City, the best place to buy Durian is in Magsaysay Fruit Market along Quezon Boulevard. Although you will find Durian in all other fruit stands and markets in the City, the Magsaysay Market is known to have better stocks, more variety and cheaper price.


  1. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I live in Central America, and will be visiting Florida for a two week stay, very soon.

    I need someone in Mindanao to send me seeds from several varieties of durian that are fruiting (in season) NOW.

    I can only pay thru paypal.

    Tell me what you have.

    Shipping should be about $6.99 per package of about 10 seeds. I need two identical packages sent this week.

    Tell me what varieties you can offer, and how much your prices are.

    I also might be interested in Marang seeds.

    I will only purchase from a person that I can chat with on the phone, for a few minutes.

    Thank you,

    Jim AKA d.a.

  2. Long time ago, i had tried the durian ice cream. Is this still available in the market?

    1. Hi isaiah bernal. Yes, Durian ice cream is widely available in Davao City, and it is one of my all-time favorites, too.

  3. Hello! san po tong DURIAN COFFEE GELATO?


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