Red and Orange Durians of Sabah

durian flesh in 3 colors
Print Friendly

What makes Sabah people so happy in year end? Xmas? New Year? Oh ya, a King was born on Christmas. Guess what. The “King of Fruits” is born too, as it’s fruiting season now in Sabah, and durian is everywhere! Besides the ordinary durians, someone is more interested in two special breeds of Sabah durians, the Durian Sukang (Red Durian) and Durian Dalit (Orange Durian) of Borneo.

orange flesh durian (Durio oxleyanus)
Pic: Durian Dalit (Orange-flesh Durian), Species: Durio oxleyanus
The husk of Durian Dalit is green color, with long and thick thorns outside.

red flesh durian (Durio graveolens)
Pic: Durian Sukang (Red-flesh Durian), Species: Durio graveolens
When ripe, the husk of Durian Sukang turns yellow, with short and sharp spines.

red and orange durian
Red and orange durian fruits are very small and can be held by one palm. Both are considered as Wild Durians.

durians in 3 colors
Pic: Durian flesh in red, orange and yellow colors. Which one you like huh?

durian fruits
When compared to a common durian seed, the seeds of both wild durians look so small.

durian flesh in 3 color
The commercially-planted durian fruit has thick layer of yellow flesh. In contrast, though creamy as well, the flesh of red and orange durians is thin, and the taste is slightly bland. However, their scent is strong and distinctive, like fermented wine. The taste and flavor of red durian is twice as strong as orange durian. That’s why red durian is sold more (and fast) than the cheaper orange durian. Some says you would get a bit “drunken” if you eat too many red durian.

Where to Buy

Red and Orange flesh durians are not being cultivated on a large scale, so you won’t see them often in city market. You have to look for them in local market (or tamu native market) of rural or suburban areas of Sabah. I think you can find them in Petagas and Donggongon, which are quite near to Kota Kinabalu. But you have to be there early before these durians are quickly snapped up by others.

durians for sale
orange durian
Pic: Orange flesh durian for sale in market in Kuala Penyu town. A bundle of 6 or 7 was sold for RM17 (≈USD5.70).

roadside durian stalls
The red durian was sold out in Kuala Penyu last week. Luckily we found a roadside stall selling red durian around Membakut.

red durian for sale
red durian
Pic: A bundle of 4 was sold for RM20 (≈USD6.70).

durians for sale at roadside
Don’t be sad if you can’t find wild durian. There are many other cultivated durians for sale at roadside.

durians
The harvest this year is very good, so durian lovers are excited about the cheap durians.

durians in car
Pic: Be careful if you put durians in your car, the odoriferous scent will fill the car soon, unless all passengers love durians. Most hotels in Malaysia don’t allow guests to bring durians into their rooms.

Who Loves Durian?

It is a pity that some people don’t like durian and describe it smells and tastes like shit (How do they know? They taste shit before?). Out of 20 wild durian species of Borneo, 12 are found in Sabah. In fact, most wildlife enjoys durian as a delicacy.

orangutan loves durian
Orangutan likes durian, so does squirrel, mouse deer, hornbill, etc.

clouded leopard
No kidding, I was told many times that durian is the favorite fruit of Clouded Leopard. I’m not sure if it loves cheese burger though.

elephant loves durian
The durian thorns can’t stop elephant from eating the fruit. The elephant will roll the durian again and again on the leaves, until the spiny husk is covered by leaves, then it just swallows the whole fruit!

Even animals know durian is good stuff, so what are you waiting for? Happy Durian Hunting! ๐Ÿ™‚

Photos taken in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

You might also like:

By Murphy Ng
  • Bob

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!

    It happens even here in Kota Kinabalu!! What kind of …place!?!? I almost said City but that would be contradictory to its meaning!! I cannot believe the government can actually promote Kota Kinabalu to a city when every 3 days this happens:

    “aiya!! stupid lah this Sabah Electricity!! always got no curren wan!! So crap man…”

    What on earth man?! Think about all the lost amounts of money lost by the negligence of the Sabah Electricity company!! This is considered negligence in that the supplier is not looking out for its ultimate consumer, that being us, Loyal Sabahans!! Think!! Think of all the companies alone which depend on the power to actually power their computers!! Its b***s**t

    Thanks for reading, I’m with ya all the way!!

  • Moanster

    computer company? SESB boost the UPS and large generator market, so, think of any business? ๐Ÿ˜€

  • LHS

    Elephant swallows the whole durian with shell !? Do they develop health problem such as hemorrhoids ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yes, they swallow the whole fruit. This is confirm as durian husk is found in elephant dung. I’m more concern if they get stomach upset though lol.

  • LHS

    Another good reason not to step on elephant dung…. : )

  • Jim

    Can this red durian found in June season?

  • Jim, its fruiting season is same as other durian. The season is not so consistent nowadays, it can occur anytime between June and Nov.

  • Andrew

    I see that these will not be in season, for several months, and that this is an old article.

    But, I would gladly buy some fruit, in exchange for the seeds.

    I am particularly interested in the variety with red flesh but like tropical fruits.

    the_date_palm
    @yahoo.com

  • tipaakorn

    Murphy , Can I buy red durian seeds? Can you shipping to Thailand? My mail : tipakornnurse@gmail.com
    I need red durian seeds. Can you help me, please? Thank you.

  • Andrew

    Now at beaumont@unseen.is

    Thanks very much for reading, and I hope you don’t get swamped with requests.

  • Huan Luong

    I am in Vietnam, I want to buy a lot of red and orange durian in Sabah for my market? When is durian season? How can I contact buyer to buy? Please help me!
    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    My email: huan.luongbk48@gmail.com