The story of red durian seeds…

by drizad on March 16, 2009

I didn’t know that my post about red coloured durian will be the most popular post of all time for Kinabalu Blog!

It started when I wrote about red coloured durian  couple of years ago, after a suggestion from one of my good friend, Cikgu Ismail from Kulai, Johor (an avid mountain climber).

Red coloured durian is actually a rarity, in which only few parts of the world have it. After publishing that post, I received 2 emails from two different place, asking me to send them the seeds…

The search begins
Last month (February 2009), while I was doing my usual weekend groceries shopping in Sunday Tamu (market), Putatan, I saw with my own eyes, the red coloured durian. It was nicely tide up with ‘tali rafia‘ (a type of rope). It was a surprise for me as I have been looking for it for the past few month in few different places.

Knowing that it will be difficult for me to find the seeds during off season, I grabbed the opportunity to buy it. I bought it because of the 2 special request email, from Thailand and US separately – asking me whether I could mail them some seeds for their garden.

It cost me RM30 for 4. I was lucky because I noticed that it was the last bunch of durian fruit in the whole ‘tamu’ (Sunday market). I could not find it anymore the following weekend.

Personally, the red durian is not as smelly as the one that I used to eat when I was young in my hometown, Bakri, Muar, Johor. Those days the durian cost only 50 cents each, and most of the time my mom will make a ‘bubur’ (porridge) out of it because we could not finish them all. The red coulored durian is also almost odourless and tasteless. I personally think that it taste horrible. Very bland indeed. I could not even finished a single bit of it!

Anyway, after bringing the durians back home, my wife (who hate durians) barred me from keeping the durians inside the house. Although I told her that this kind of durian is almost odourless, she insisted that the durians stayed outside the house. And it stayed there until it ripens and cracked opened by itself.

The journey begins
After getting all the information and suggestion on how to make sure that the seeds will not dies off in the journey across the earth, I started to process the seeds. As it taste horrible and my wife don’t eat durian, I have to manually remove the fleshy part of the seeds out.
I didn’t know that the durian was so ‘powerful’ until I chat with one of the local elderly here, after I felt giddy the next morning after I ate a piece of the red durian. To my surprised, he said that it’s a known ‘adverse reaction’ of this fruits. It’s very usual for people to felt a bit sick after eating that durian. Luckily I did not finished the whole bunch. Otherwise I could not even stand properly…
Following the suggestion, I packaged all the seeds properly, dividing all the seeds equally. You can see it how I processed those seeds…

Red coloured durians!!!

The close up of the red durian.

The left durian is slightly orange-pink in colour.

I manually remove the soft pulp of the fruit. It tasted really bland.

Washing off the mess...

The packages. One package arrived in Chiang Mai and the other arrived in Florida safely...

Few days after sending those seeds, I received an email from the friend in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Apparently, the seeds arrived safely. Some of those seeds were already germinated!

A week after that, my friend from Florida also emailed me that the seeds arrived safely with some of them were germinated! The photos below were sent by my friend from Chiang Mai, Thailand!

I wrapped the seeds with some wet cotton gauze.

Germinated durian seeds.

I hope that the seeds can live happily ever after in their new soil…

Durian: King of Tropical Fruit

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Murphy 03.16.09 at 3:26 pm

Wow, OK, may be I can write a blog entry on red durian too, so I can steal your traffic, hehe. đŸ˜‰

2 drizad 03.16.09 at 3:30 pm

Sure… I suppose it’s ‘share the traffic’?

3 Pilou 03.16.09 at 3:47 pm

Hello !

Happy to see that you have made news blog regarding the history of the seeds you sent to us…

As you know, I’ ve received the seeds in very good conditon in Chiang Mai / ThaĂ¯lande and now,seed are growing…
It’s seems to be on the good way !

you can see 2 pictures of the babies there :

Best regards

4 Cikgu Ismail 03.16.09 at 8:13 pm

ha ha ha … it very nice durian what ? he he he … Ada rasa lemak-lemak … make me have feeling of sabahan red durian. Tapi durian Muar lagi sedap la Dr …

5 kl chan 03.16.09 at 8:35 pm

Hey. I received an email a few days ago about this red durian ago before reading this blog. Quite awesome. Didn’t even know that the blog was post by our good friend Drizadhere. Keep it up.

6 Kay Stanford 03.17.09 at 12:09 am

I must taste this durian la!

7 KNizam 03.17.09 at 7:34 pm

i have never such red colour durian in my life !
and i have been living in malaysia since 1977… hehe :)

8 Rinn 03.26.09 at 2:57 pm

Wow!! Surprised me! It’s really shocked me that we having that kind of durian in our country. Of course i never seen it before and the colour also really nice to see even i can’t taste it. Thankyou Dr.Izad for your effort to share this kind of knowledge and informations.

9 Jamiesurina 04.03.09 at 3:18 am

Whoa!!! At first my fiance told n sent to me few pictures about this red durian. (The Ismail’s picture). I had craving for it n asked my fiance to find it. At last, I found this blog and when i read about the odor and taste, loss appetite….. Thanks for sharing but very interesting. Durian without odor and taste means nothing….hehehe….

10 JOJO 04.05.09 at 9:02 pm

Hi Dr. how much did you get from selling the rare red durian seed?
Don’t be surprised that one day Thailand will be the main producer of red durian and the bad news is they have patented it!.

11 drizad 04.06.09 at 9:58 am

@Jojo: I did not sell the seeds, I share it with them. Patent for an existing seeds? Hmm… not sure if they could do it…

12 aldrien galvez 05.10.09 at 8:24 pm

HELLO my family is planning to plant such fruit in our land to make it useful. maybe you could give us an insight on such fruit because we are really curious about it same as you do. actually it is the firs time for us to encounter such. how thus it taste and is it possible that we could acquire the seeds?? what would you require for us to have one. we would be glad if you could answer our question just email me tahnk you very much. god bless


13 Lulu 05.14.09 at 2:33 am

err dr, are we allowed to mail seeds of local plants to other country? If I am not mistaken, our country Malaysia have a very strict regulations about bringing OUT local plants and IN foreign plants. We could see the rules pasted in every entry points to Malaysia. I think other countries have the same regulations too. These rules were made to protect the local plants, and I think because of other solid reasons too.

I do not agree with dr’s actions of mailing seeds to any country. Just share the story please. If its true that the red durian only exist in Sabah or Borneo, don’t you think you might have spoiled that?

Anyway, have you heard of the Gamat story? Malaysian villagers have been producing Gamat oil traditionally for years. Our local researchers also have been doing research on the medical potential of gamat. Then the Japanese researcher entered Malaysia, and we allow them to take sea cucumber and gamat samples. Wholaaa.. now they have a patent on using sea cucumber for HIV therapy. Good news for HIV patients, but bad news for our country. Patent? We will be paying the Japanese for some works that we have been doing for years!

14 drizad 05.14.09 at 7:54 am

@Lulu: Thank you for your comments and the heads up. I will be more careful on the seeds next time.

15 Lulu 05.14.09 at 1:11 pm

Reading this in broad daylight, hmm I realized that I failed to stress that I do not think your friends oversea as a potential conniving researchers intending to dupe us all Malaysians :-)

BTW, I have been eating the red durian since I was small, its what we call durian ‘dahid’, and I didn’t know it was that special :-O

16 Thai-girl 05.22.09 at 11:28 pm

I agree with Lulu…
….anyway Patent is necessary. the origin must concern. please do it. And then share it around the world to maintain this friut.
I wish if it can grow in Thailand,oneday i would taste it. coz I love Durain so much!!!

17 Philippe 05.30.09 at 1:22 am

Hello !

Yes, I’m Philippe from chiang Mai, the friend of Drizad…

So regarding the seeds, I got 3 small durian trees… stil in pot and in good condition !
I’m in France now but when i will come back to Chiang Mai (in the end of June), I will send you some pictures!

18 Saleem Haq 06.10.09 at 3:43 pm

hello !

I’m Indian, spend my young in Srilanka,Malaysia&Hongkong for business.
Now stay in India where durian is very rare. I’m planing to grow durian in
my garden, never saw red-durian any where in my life. Can you send me
some durian seeds whenev er you get it. and also give me some tips how
to grow it
Saleem Haq

19 Rafael 06.14.09 at 1:44 pm

Hi Drizad nice post, I am from PR I am very interested in the consenvation of Borneo and Sarawak endangered species, can I boy some seeds from you? Please let me know I´ll owe with you one if you can help me! My email is:
Regards: Rafael!

20 Elias 06.26.09 at 6:20 pm

Well done for sharing your seeds with cultivators, I’ve also bought many durian, jackfruit, mangosteen seeds from ebay and I’m cultivating them here in Greece. I’m an amateur backyard grower and I must say that spreading the seeds of rare varieties helps conserve them and keeps them off extinction. There’s many stories of crazy fruit collectors who cultivated varieties that were extinct in their homeland. All those patents can be made no matter what you do, if you don’t send them seeds then they can come over and pick them up on their own. But if you don’t share seeds then you confine them in an area where in some years they might be extinct if there’s no backup copy somewhere…

also watch (and why not read):

21 Amir 07.05.09 at 9:17 pm


If you don’t mind can you send me the red durian seed since i would like to plant it at the back of my home town house.

Would like to know how is the arrangement.


22 Soc 10.29.09 at 8:13 pm


Is it possible for you to send me some seeds too? I am very interested in this Durian and the KUra Kura durian which grows on the tree trunk. Can you help me?


23 M.R.I.Bin Hassen. 11.10.09 at 8:47 pm

I have a Durian plant and love Durian Could you please send me some seeds I could send something back in return.
Kind regards

24 mychocon 11.16.09 at 9:37 am

I live in California, US. I have been searching for red durian for a long time. If by any chance you can get a hold of some seeds, please get some for me. I sure would love to send back some money in exchange for your efforts or if you need any kind of plants in the US, don’t hesitate to let me know.


25 sharon miranda 11.18.09 at 12:03 pm


How can i get hold off this red durian seeds, I would really like to plant them in my home. pls reply

26 loong 04.05.10 at 3:57 am

hi my friend. I think you are a really helpful and unselfish person. It is hard to find such a good character in a person now. So willing to share and open with knowledge. I support it this way. Good things are meant to be shared right. Your courage also touched me when you send the seeds without thinking and the risk that autorities might be unhappy about it in malaysia.

Personally I think that singaporeans should try red durian too. The colour is nice. Regards to the hangover the next day? I think that I will rather have it than not to taste it.

Please let me know how I can buy this and bring it into singapore. I want to share it with all my friends. You can email me

27 loong 04.05.10 at 3:59 am

Please let me know how I can buy this and bring it into singapore. I want to share it with all my friends. You can email me

hi my friend. I think you are a really helpful and unselfish person. It is hard to find such a good character in a person now. So willing to share and open with knowledge. I support it this way. Good things are meant to be shared right. Your courage also touched me when you send the seeds without thinking and the risk that autorities might be unhappy about it in malaysia.

Personally I think that singaporeans should try red durian too. The colour is nice. Regards to the hangover the next day? I think that I will rather have it than not to taste it.

28 arhlimhuttons 08.14.10 at 12:28 pm

Hi! Interesting Red Wild Durians! I am building a Durian Photos and information gallery at Durianon. I am following up such news! Please share with me your good durian pictures and news.

Durian farmer (a retired teacher) Mr Mohd Sofi Ibrahim had an orchard not far from the fringes of the Bukit Wang forest reserve in Anjung Lima forest (Malaysia). He had 72 types of champion durians, 17 are wild durians of different vivid colours, including orange and purple which he had acquired from various countries. He is selling the wild saplings now!

In interior Ranau (Sabah) such wild durian known as Sukan , Tabelak or Hutan are plentiful. Selling for RM2 or RM3 each during the season.
It cost RM30 for 4 in the whole tamu’ (Sunday market).

In Johore, a Chinese farmer had already got his Red Durians harvested !

In Singapaore, the National Parks Board had planted saplings from wild seeds at Mount Faber Park 2 and Jalan Jurong Kecil 1.

Now. We see red everywhere! Sabah should quickly put the Red Durian on its stamps before other countries do so! They also have such wild durians since ancient days!

29 Arhlim 08.16.10 at 2:59 pm

Can any one tell me which part of Indonesia does this sms come from? I received this message “Congratulations your simcard winner GRAND PRIZE, $20000 . From COMPANY PETRONAS. Please contac office petronas centre;+628121938733. (Received from 628 525 0829 198) 15/8/2010.

30 Arhlim 08.16.10 at 3:54 pm
31 Laurent 10.26.10 at 4:42 pm


Could you send me the red durian seeds? I am from Singapore.

Look forward to hear from you soon.


32 Yokahu 01.21.11 at 2:05 pm

Looking forward to be able to get some durian seeds. Can Buy or trade.


preservation by dissemination

33 paulo 02.02.11 at 7:25 am

Would appreciate some seeds of red durian. How do I buy them?



34 yin chuun 03.25.11 at 5:15 pm

For your information, the durian in the photo is not red durain. We call it Raja Durian in Sarawak. It is deep orange durian. The real red durian is dark red like blood, which we called Durian hantu in Sarawak. We have these 2 durians weeks after the normal durian season.

35 Gan 03.31.11 at 1:02 pm

Dr, really appreciate you sharing this information with us. I am a kindergarten teacher in selangor and have naver see anything like this. Sharing this piece of information with children in my kindi have also trigger parents curiosity and alert them that durians are not limited to yellowish coloured only. TQ very much for sharing this with us.

36 Joseph Isaza 05.19.11 at 2:00 am

Dear Sirs,

May I know the contact info for the personin Florida who received the other seeds so I can check for seeds available in case they already got fruits.

I am interested in delicious fruits from Asia, better if supply is in the USA.

Thank you.

37 Socki 06.14.11 at 7:50 am

I would like very much to get some seeds of your red durian. Please send me the details.

Best regards,

38 Araya Pamonprawat 08.21.11 at 6:28 pm

I would like to get some red fresh durian seeds and other colours as well. I would like to sent them to my brother in Thailand. We love durians there. In fact if you can send over the whole fruits that would be nice. Please let me know the details.
Best regards,

39 passer-by 09.05.11 at 12:35 pm

does it taste nice?
i can’t imagine how can a durian be odourless~
i love the strong smell of the “normal” durian~ haha

40 yin chuun 09.05.11 at 5:06 pm

It still taste like durian, just that it is not as strong odor as ‘normal’ durian. It is the same like kuini (Mangifera odorata) has stronger odor than mango (Mangifera indica). Kuini has strong Odor which can be detected from afar.

41 Sakarin 12.18.11 at 5:57 pm

Me too.

Can you send me some of red durian seeds.

Best regards,

42 su 12.20.11 at 1:37 pm

can you send me some of red durian seeds.


43 Philippe 04.15.12 at 8:29 pm

3 years after I received the seeds in Chiang Mai from you… My 2 red durians trees are growing slowly but are in good condition…
Tell me how I can add pictures :-)

44 drizad 04.19.12 at 2:14 pm

Hi Philippe,
Please send the photos directly to me here: drizad(at) Thank you very much!

45 Arndt 08.26.12 at 4:31 pm

Hello Drizad,
I am very interested in fruits and would like to come to Sabah and discover some rare Durian varieties. What is the best time to come to Sabah?

Kind Regards

46 Joseph Isaza 08.27.12 at 1:49 am


I am living in Panama Republic and would like to know if I can have some advise on planting Durians, is there any specific soil (ph level) that will work better for the Durian baby trees. What about the climate? cool, template, hot?

I will really appreciatte any recomendation on growing durians.

Thank you.

47 yinchuun 12.28.12 at 10:48 pm

I still have some red durian seeds, if anyone interested, can contact me.

48 Michail 04.01.13 at 5:07 am

This is Mike from Greece. After my last visit in Thailand Singapore and Cambodia 2 months ago I tried different fruits and durian, also. I loved this fruit from the first bite! Because I can’t get the durian fruits here I am thinking to try to grow. Searching the internet I found that the red colored variety (durio graveolens) is a little hardier than the other varieties. So I will appreciate very much if someone can send me some seeds of the red durian. Of course I will pay all the expenses
Thank you

49 chai 06.16.13 at 4:41 pm

I am looking for red durian seeds. Please if anyone have sent me some.
Thank you

50 slaven 02.11.14 at 6:33 am

I am interested to buy some different durian seeds especially red ones.
PLease can you send me some.

51 drizad 02.12.14 at 8:17 am

Hello Slaven,
Thank you for your interest on the red durian seeds. I will inform you when durian season comes.
Have a nice day!

52 moe 02.28.14 at 2:49 am

are you have red durian seeds for sell ?

thank you.

53 drizad 02.28.14 at 8:40 am

Hello Moe,
I will inform you when the red durian season is around.
Thank you for your interest.

54 fitra 04.29.14 at 10:23 pm

halloo….do you have some durian merah seeds to sell? saya sedang mencari bibit durian merah kalimantan. please reply soon. terima kasih banyak.

yogyakarta, indonesia

55 fitra 04.29.14 at 10:26 pm

oh almost forgot, this is my email: thanks, bro. salam.

56 drizad 04.30.14 at 2:22 pm

Hello fitra,
At this moment, I don’t have the seeds, as it is not the durian season yet. I will inform you if there is.
Thank you.

57 Nedko Stanchev 08.05.14 at 12:50 am

Hello drizad,Greetings from Bulgaria!
are you have red durian seeds for sell ?

thank you.

58 Agnello Della Crotche 08.10.14 at 3:00 am

Hi everyone!

Bought (expensive!!!!) a whole fruit “durian” from my next-door chinese shop.

Whoaaaaaaa it stinks….

Just to give a hard time to my (f*k*) neighbours I left the whole fruit in a cardboard box concealed near the fridge.

All right.

I am step when they sprouted. A long prick trying to reach deep in the soil.

Wot’s next steP?

I am right here:


59 drizad 08.11.14 at 8:30 am

Hi Agnello,

You may then transfer the germinated seeds on to soil. Make sure there is enough space for the tree to grow. It may grow big.

Hope that helps.

60 scott riefler 09.05.15 at 3:42 am

I have some Thai seeds I like to trade with you if your interested.

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