Durio kutejensis , commonly known as durian pulu , durian merah , nyekak , Pakan , Kuluk , or lai , is a primary rainforest substorey fruit tree from Borneo. It has large, glossy leaves, numerous large, red flowers that emit a strong carrion smell at anthesis. This species is reportedly pollinated by giant honey bees and birds, as well as bats. It bears fruit late in the season.
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Durio kutejensis is the favorite durian of Brunei. I thought it was just so cute. From the top, it looks like a corn-yellow five petaled flower because each of the seed-bearing sections are so swollen and pronounced. The thorns are short and nubby and the shell is unusually thin, making it relatively easy to break into with bare hands. The flesh is dry and a little bit waxy, ranging in colors from pale orange-yellow to a deep, sunset red.
It completely lacks the savory, garlicky onion element that turns some people away and drives others closer for more. To us, it tasted light and strawberry-mango fruity, like an avocado infused with the artificial flavoring of a tropical gummy bear.
One noteworthy detail is that, unlike other durians, the flowers stamens stay attached to the fruit as it ripens. By the time the fruit drops, the stamens are just five long black strings attached to the stem. I thought this looked kind of gross but was pretty cool. Durio kutejensis is native to Borneo. It can now be found in other regions of the world, most noticeably Java, although the trees do not seem to fruit well. A claim in of finding Durio kutejensis growing wild in Turkey has largely been dismissed.
This durian is extremely popular in Brunei, where it fetches a high price, and the regions surrounding the tiny sultanate are flooded with the fruit. Rob and I saw a lot of Durio kutejensis in the Miri and the Bintulu region. Like all jungle durians, Durio kutejensis has a variety of names depending on the region. Here are some that we found: durian pulu Brunei , durian nyekak Batu Niah and region south of Miri , durian lai, durian merah, durian lukak Miri.
Hasskarl was working in the Botanical Garden in Bogor, Java, reorganizing taxonomic families. Back in the day, the organization of durian species was an absolute mess. Linnaean taxonomy was just starting to be adopted, and botanists around the world were scrambling to give names to things to fit into the new set of rules.
Carl Hasskarl gave our durian the name Lahia kutejensis in It was the only plant in the imaginary genus, and as soon as somebody smarter realized that the little durian belonged in Durio the whole Lahia thing was dropped and disappeared for good. Even today, if you look up Durio kutejensis on Wikipedia it will tell you it is synonymous with Lahia kutejensis. Although the name was changed, Mr. The Becc. Odoardo Beccari is considered one of the greatest botanists of the 20th century, and with reason.
The man spent three years climbing around the jungles of Borneo looking for new plants. Why he kept the kutejensis part, I have no idea. This durian prefers clay rich soils in the hillsides of mixed lowland dipterocarp forests. It seems to be slightly more tolerant of higher elevation, growing up to meters altitude. The seeds are easily recognizable. While most seeds are tan, these seeds are a mahogany brown, slightly smaller and more ellipsoid, and very smooth.
The most remarkable thing about the non-edible parts of Durio kutejensis is its flowers. The flowers are a gushing blood red, a splash of insanely brilliant color on an otherwise drab, camouflage-colored tree. I don't know for sure, but "kutejensis" could be derived from "Kutai", the oldest kingdom in Borneo. Luv it!!! Thanks for writing this piece! I'm absolutely fascinated with Borneo's wild Durio spp.
Makes me wonder why we only have a single species of durian in the Philippines, Durio zibethinus, as far as I know. Not sure if these are actually native and grow wild in southern Philippines, or were introduced early on from neighboring South East Asian countries. Hi Victor, you can also find Durio graveolens in the Philippines!
They should be in season about now! So no onion, savory flavor? Wow, interesting. Your description of its flavor kind of drives me crazy though.. Oh man.. This must be heavenly good. Only a true durian lover would salivate at that description.
Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Description I thought it was just so cute. Like it? Share it! Like this: Like Loading Keep reading Durian Addicts Only Get a monthly ish note from me with tips and seasonal updates.
Comments I don't know for sure, but "kutejensis" could be derived from "Kutai", the oldest kingdom in Borneo. Great website!! Sorry I missed your comment on mine! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
Durio Kutejensis Hassk. Becc.
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