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Durio singaporensis


Durio singaporensis Ridl.

Family Name: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Durio oblongus auct. non Mast.<2>
Common Name: Singapore Durian, Durian Duan

Durio singaporensis is named after (you guessed it), Singapore! Commonly known as the Singapore Durian, its scientific name takes reference from the distribution of the species; within Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. The Singapore Durian can grow up to 30 m tall producing thick leathery foliage with a golden-coppery underside. Unlike the Durian commonly eaten (Durio zibethinus), its fruit is densely covered in rambutan-like spines. The brown seeds also lack the yellow, pungent flavoured edible pulp that many enjoy.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tall tree that grow up to 30 m tall, small, thin buttresses may be present. It has pinkish red to red brown bark with horizontal ridges.
Foliage Leaves are thick, leathery, oblong measuring from 13-30 cm x 4.8-5 cm, held on an angular petiole 1.5-2.5 cm long. The leaves are dark green, glossy, closely packed scales are found on the underside, giving a golden-coppery appearance. Lance-shaped stipules are found on the tip of the branches, up to 2 cm long, covered in scales on the outside.
Flowers Flowers borne in a short inflorescence along the branches (cauliflorous) with up to 3 flowers per cluster. Flowers are large, white, 5-petalled, with large, loose scales on the outside, velvety on the inside.
Fruit The fruit is a green, round capsule measuring to 11 cm wide, densely covered with slender and stiff rambutan-like spines. Upon maturity, the fruit splits to reveal bare brown seeds, not covered in aril (seed coating).
Habitat It occurs in lowland forests up to 915 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by bats.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Durio, from the Malay name durian; Latin singaporensis, from Singapore, referring to the natural distribution of this species

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bat Food
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong)
Foliar Venation Recticulate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Obtuse
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers , Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Cauliflorous
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Bristly, Thorny / Spiny
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown



<1> Kostermans. A.J. (1959). The Genus Durio Adans (Bombac.), Reinwardtia, 4(3): 106-108. Indonesia: Herbarium Bogoriense.

<2> Ridley, H.N (1900). The Flora of Singapore. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 33:51.

<3> Ridley, H.N (1916). New and Rare Malayan Plants. Series VIII. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 73:143.

Image Repository



Master ID 29703
Species ID 4012
Species record last updated on: 02 August 2023.