AUSTRALIA: Late Jan, Feb, March, April, May. First fruits can be as early as Nov, Dec. Growing areas are from Tully northwards as temperature must stay above 6°C. A small selection of fruit available from the Cairns and Port Douglas markets and in Darwin.
BORNEO: Considered by many to be the home of durian. Possesses many very different types of wild varieties such as smallish bright red- and orange-fleshed ones. It has now been divided into 3 countries: Brunei, Malaysian Sabah and Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan. See respective countries.
BRUNEI: July, Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. They have a special kura-kura wild variety that fruits heavily around the base of the trunk with fruit lying on the ground in huge clumps!
BURMA: June. Has been a hard country to visit because of political instability but has opened up now.
CAMBODIA: No firm information to hand but presumably somewhere between the Thai and Vietnamese season. Has been a hard country to visit because of political instability but has opened up now.
CARIBBEAN: Season unknown. Only a few backyard trees.
FIJI: Season unknown but they do export some to Australia.
HONG KONG: Has imported fruit usually all year round.
INDONESIA: Usually the season only lasts about 3 weeks in any one place, with odd fruit coming on for a couple of weeks before and after, except in Sumatra where the season is much longer. The country has a famous Durian Club which provides members with updates on how the season is progressing - around the various islands so any connoisseurs can follow it if they choose. The main islands are ....
Java: Dec., Jan., Feb. Best growing areas are central, north and west Java.
Kalimantan: Feb. in the East. Famous for its excellent Lai durian. Dec./Jan. in the west.
Sulawesi: Jan./Feb. There is a single species durian forest somewhere in the lower peninsula, with fruits available in the markets of Ujung Padang.
Sumatra: May, June, July in the south. The north has 2 seasons - June, July, Aug. Sept. Oct. plus Dec., Jan., Feb.
Best areas are around Banda Aceh, Medan and a famous durian forest in the Botok area. Only Lake Toba area has fruits in Dec. The Nias Islands and Siberut are also good for durian too!
LAOS: No firm information to hand but presumably somewhere between the Thai and Vietnamese season. Has been a hard country to visit because of political instability but has opened up now.
MALAYSIA: May, June, July, Aug. on the mainland. Main areas are Ipoh in Cameron Highlands and Khotu Bharu. Khotu Bharu has fruit till Sept. Taiping, between Ipoh and Penang, has 2 seasons, June/July plus Nov./Dec. Malaysia is famous for its special grafted varieties and its annual durian judging competition. Penang's season is June/July.
SABAH: Has 2 seasons. Beginning early Dec./Jan. plus Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Very good area near Sipitong, especially Kog Bucau. The Dec./Jan. season never fails but the Aug. season sometimes does, possibly because of mass deforestation. An absolute abundance usually!
SARAWAK: Has 2 seasons. Dec./Jan. with a few in Feb./March plus Aug. Rajang river area has possibly 100,000 trees. Plentiful fruits available from the markets of Kuching.
PHILIPPINES: March, April, May, June. Davao on Mindanao Island has the most famous and sweetest durians in the Philippines. There is some political instability on the Island but not around the main population centers.
SINGAPORE: July/Aug. Kandi is a famous growing area but it is experiencing some political instability at the present time. No reports of any durians growing on the Indian mainland to hand.
THAILAND: March, April, May, June, July in the North/Central. Main growing area is around Rayong, Rayong Province. Famous for very thick-fleshed Montong durians that are picked and are thrown down to catchers below. They are the main world suppliers exporting 600,000 tonnes yearly and consuming 400,000 tonnes locally. Of excellent quality! June, July, August in the south of the country.
U.K.: Fresh imports from Thailand available in China-town in Central London during the Thai season.
U.S.A.: None reported on the mainland. Only a few backyard trees are growing in Hawaii.
VIETNAM: Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Very bountiful harvests.
This completes every country known to have durians.
Special thanks to anyone who has provided information, especially David Chandlee, and for the assistance of Maria Basten in the preparation of this guide to 'the greatest fruit on earth!'
DATE: July 1995
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