Friday, October 23, 2009

Durian Tree Bearing Fruit at the Base of the Tree

Just received this forwarded email from my sister. This is the first time I have ever seen durian trees bearing fruit at the base of their trunk.

Back in the sixties and seventies, my grandfather had a durian orchard in Sarawak and I remembered walking through the orchard at the wee hours of the morning looking for durian fruits.

During the durian season, we would be waiting and listening for the sound of durian fruits dropping to the ground. Each time we heard fruits dropping to the ground, we would take a customised umbrella with the canopy made of zinc sheet and went looking for the fruits. It was very exciting.

Anyway, I do not know who took the following photos, but I wanna thank him/her for making it possible for me to see something so wonderful... :-).

I went and Googled for any other news or information about this durian but could not find any information about it. That was because, I searched for the wrong thing. In fact, these durians are called Durian Kura Kura (Durio testudinarium) and they are only found in Borneo.

Based on the descriptions in the email, "These are Durian Batu found in our jungles and they belong to the Orang Asli. Not commercially-grown." (Technically, this information is wrong, as the Orang Asli are indigenous people of Penisular Malaysia and not from Borneo.)

In fact, this durian made the news in Sarawak's main newspaper, The Borneo Post, recently. Check the article out here (in Malay).

In the article published in The Borneo Post: According to Nasita Dollah, her grandmother, Siti Mawang came to Miri from Brunei more than 8o years ago. She brought the durian seed and planted it where they settled in Kampung Selanyau.

Nasita said that the tree only bear fruit once a year and it always attracted a lot of people as many had never seen anything like this. According to Nasita, the fruits were watery and sweet, with the same color as normal durians. But the smell were quite different and strange like the smell of turtle urine.... LOL. Btw, "kura kura" translated to "turtle", hence the name of the durian?

Anyway, there is not much more information I could find on this particular durian. But if it stinks like "turtle urine", I think I will stay far away from it... LOL.