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Durio zibethinus grows to a height of 27 to 40 meters in the wild. The tree has a straight trunk typically 1.2m in diameter. The crown is irregular and densely packed with branches that support oblong evergreen leaves which are six to 25 centimeters in length and two to nine cm in width. These leaves are a glossy green with a point at the apex. The flower has five sepals and three petals, with many stamen and a single stigma. The flowers bloom at night and are formed in pendant like clusters of three to thirty blooms. A tough yellow-green, semi woody rind with sharp spines covers the fruit. The irregular ovoid fruits are 15 to 30cm in length and 12 to 15cm in width. Weights of up to eight kilograms are not uncommon. Inside the rind, five compartments house the creamy white to yellow to orange flesh. The odorous fruit has one to seven seeds within the flesh which are two to six centimeters in length and have a shape and texture similar to an avocado pit (Morton, 1987). Studies have shown that bees can be used to pollinate cultivated trees. In the wild the flower of D. zibethinus are pollinated primarily by fruit bats. The fruits bats also aid in distribution of the seeds. (Bumrungsri, 2009).

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© Trenton Dean, Oregon State University

Source: BOT 323 Flowering Plants of the World, Oregon State University

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