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Trái Sầu riêng (Durian fruits) Durio zibethinus L  Bombacaceae | by Duy-Thuong
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Trái Sầu riêng (Durian fruits) Durio zibethinus L Bombacaceae

Sầu riêng là loại cây ăn quả thuộc chi Durio (chi sầu riêng) được biết đến rộng rãi tại Đông Nam Á.

Tên gọi

Tên chi Durio (chi sầu riêng) có nguồn gốc từ ngữ hệ Nam Á: người Việt gọi là sầu riêng, người Khmer gọi là turen và người Mã Lai - Nam Dương gọi là Djoerian (về sau viết là Doerian). Ngày nay hầu hết các quốc gia trên thế giới gọi loài cây/trái này là Durian hoặc có ký ngữ khác nhưng phát âm tương tự như chữ Durian.

Tuy nhiên, trong chi Durio chỉ có một loài là Durio zibethinus là phổ biến nhất. Trong thế kỷ 20 ở Việt Nam được biết tới 2 giống "sầu riêng mỡ" có lớp cơm màu trắng xám như mỡ và "sầu riêng đường" có lớp cơm màu vàng như đường mía. Theo thời gian, hoặc nhờ khám phá, hoặc nhờ gây giống, hiện nay sầu riêng (Durio zibethinus) có độ 70 giống (cultivar), trong đó giống "sầu riêng đường không hạt" có triển vọng và được giới tiêu thụ ưa chuộng hơn hết, phân loài này được gây giống đặc biệt ở Thái Lan và Việt Nam: múi ngọt, không có hạt hoặc hạt bị tiêu giảm.

Nhận dạng

Cây sầu riêng có thể cao tới 40 mét. Lá luôn xanh, đối xứng hình êlip đến hình thuôn dài từ 10-18 cm. Hoa nở từng chùm từ 3-30 trên cành lớn và thân, mỗi hoa có đài hoa và 5 (ít khi 4 hay 6) cánh hoa.

Trái sầu riêng chín sau 3 tháng sau khi thụ phấn. Trái có thể dài tới 40 cm và đường kính 30 cm, nặng từ 1 đến 5 kg. Trái có thể mọc trên thân cây cành. Sầu riêng có thể có trái sau khi trồng 4 tới 5 năm. Màu của trái có thể từ xanh sang nâu, hình dạng thuôn đến tròn. Bên ngoài có lớp vỏ cứng bao với gai nhọn, và mùi nồng đặc trưng tỏa từ thịt bên trong. Nhiều người xem đó là thơm, nhưng có người cho đó là thối. Cả hai kết quả phẩm bình, tuy mâu thuẫn nhưng đều có lý. Trong trái sầu riêng chín, theo các chuyên gia hóa học, có hơn 100 chất, trong đó có một số thuộc ête (ether) thơm, và một số ête thối, có thành phần lưu huỳnh. Thơm hay thối là kết quả của khứu giác cá nhân: tiếp nhận ête thơm trước tiên, hay tiếp nhận ête thối trước tiên mà thôi.

Một đặc điểm nữa của trái sầu riêng là trái chín chỉ rơi (rụng) vào một thời điểm nhất định trong ngày: trái rơi (rụng) nhiều nhất vào lúc giữa đêm (từ 0 tới 1 giờ) và một số ít vào giữa trưa (12 tới 13 giờ), những giờ khác không có trái rơi (rụng). Nhờ đó con người tránh được tai nạn.

Trái sầu riêng có nhiều "múi", mỗi múi có 1 đến 3 hạt. Phần ăn được là phần thịt (cơm) bao quanh hạt cứng. Hạt có kích cỡ như hạt mít, có thể ăn được nếu được nướng, chiên hay luộc.

Phân bố

Sầu riêng phân bố chủ yếu ở Indonesia (Nam Dương), Malaysia (Mã Lai) và Brunei, tuy nhiên có thể mọc ở mọi nơi có điều kiện khí hậu tương tự. Các vùng khác mà sầu riêng có thể mọc là Minđanao, Thái Lan, Philipin, Queensland ở Úc, Campuchia, Việt Nam, Lào, Ấn Độ, Sri lanka và một phần của Hawaii.

Thái Lan là nước xuất khẩu chủ yếu sầu riêng.

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Durio zibethinus L

The family Bombacaceae is best known for showy flowers and woody or thin-shelled pods filled with small seeds and silky or cottonlike fiber. The durian, Durio zibethinus L., is one member that differs radically in having large seeds surrounded by fleshy arils. Apart from variants of the word "durian" in native dialects, there are few other vernacular names, though the notorious odor has given rise to the unflattering terms, "civet cat tree", and "civet fruit" in India and "stinkvrucht " in Dutch. Nevertheless the durian is the most important native fruit of southeastern Asia and neighboring islands.


The durian tree, reaching 90 to 130 ft (27-40 m) in height in tropical forests, is usually erect with short, straight, rough, peeling trunk to 4 ft (1.2 m) in diameter, and irregular dense or open crown of rough branches, and thin branchlets coated with coppery or gray scales when young. The evergreen, alternate leaves are oblong-lance-olate, or elliptic-obovate, rounded at the base, abruptly pointed at the apex; leathery, dark-green and glossy above, silvery or pale-yellow, and densely covered with gray or reddish-brown, hairy scales on the underside; 2 1/2 to 10 in (6.25-25 cm) long, 1 to 3 1/2 in (2.5-9 cm) wide. Malodorous, whitish to golden-brown, 3-petalled flowers, 2 to 3 in (5-7.5 cm) wide, with 5-lobed, bell-shaped calyx, are borne in pendant clusters of 3 to 30 directly from the old, thick branches or trunk.

The fruits are ovoid or ovoid-oblong to nearly round, 6 to 12 in (15-30 cm) long, 5 to 6 in (12.5-15 cm) wide, and up to 18 lbs (8 kg) in weight. The yellow or yellowish-green rind is thick, tough, semi-woody, and densely set with stout, sharply pointed spines, 3- to 7-sided at the base. Handling without gloves can be painful. Inside there are 5 compartments containing the creamy-white, yellowish, pinkish or orange-colored flesh and 1 to 7 chestnut-like seeds, 3/4 to 2 1/4 in (2-6 cm) long with glossy, red-brown seedcoat. In the best fruits, most seeds are abortive. There are some odorless cultivars but the flesh of the common durian has a powerful odor which reminded the plant explorer, Otis W. Barrett, of combined cheese, decayed onion and turpentine, or "garlic, Limburger cheese and some spicy sort of resin" but he said that after eating a bit of the pulp "the odor is scarcely noticed." The nature of the flesh is more complex-in the words of Alfred Russel Wallace (much-quoted), it is "a rich custard highly flavored with almonds . . . but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream cheese, onion-sauce, sherry wine and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid, nor sweet, nor juicy; yet it wants none of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop." (The Treasury of Botany, Vol. 1, p. 435). Barrett described the flavor as "triplex in effect, first a strong aromatic taste, followed by a delicious sweet flavor, then a strange resinous or balsam-like taste of exquisite but persistent savor." An American chemist working at the U.S. Rubber Plantations in Sumatra in modem times, was at first reluctant to try eating durian, was finally persuaded and became enthusiastic, declaring it to be "absolutely delicious", something like "a concoction of ice cream, onions, spices, and bananas, all mixed together."

Some fruits split into 5 segments, others do not split, but all fall to the ground when mature.

Origin and Distribution

The durian is believed to be native to Borneo and Sumatra. It is found wild or semi-wild in South Tenasserim, Lower Burma, and around villages in peninsular Malaya, and is commonly cultivated along roads or in orchards from southeastern India and Ceylon to New Guinea. Four hundred years ago, there was a lively trade in durians between Lower Burma to Upper Burma where they were prized in the Royal Palace. Thailand and South Vietnam are important producers of durians. The Association of Durian Growers and Sellers was formed in 1959 to standardize quality and marketing practices. The durian is grown to a limited extent in the southern Philippines, particularly in the Provinces of Mindanao and Sulu. The tree grows splendidly but generally produces few fruits in the Visayas Islands and on the island of Luzon. There are many bearing trees in Zanzibar, a few in Pemba and Hawaii. The durian is not included in the latest Flora of Guam (1970) which covers both indigenous and exotic species. It has been introduced into New Guinea, Tahiti, and Ponape.

The durian is rare in the New World. Seeds from Java were planted at the Federal Experiment Station in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 1920. The single resulting tree bloomed heavily in February and March in 1944 but only one fruit matured in July and it had but 3 normal carpels. Nevertheless, there were 6 fully developed seeds which germinated and were planted. The tree has fruited in Dominica and Jamaica. There have been specimens in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Port-au-Spain, Trinidad, for many years though they are not very much at home there. Young trees and seeds were introduced into Honduras from Java in 1926 and 1927, and the trees have grown well at the Lancetilla Experimental Garden at Tela, but they bear poorly to moderately. Seedlings have lived only briefly in southern Florida.


Much variation occurs in seedlings. There are over 300 named varieties of durian in Thailand. Only a few of these are in commercial cultivation. In Malaysia, 100 types are graded for size and quality. In peninsular Malaya, there are 44 clones with small differences in time and extent of flowering, floral and fruit morphology, productivity and edible quality.


There is no evidence that the durian is wind-pollinated and it is believed that bats (mainly Eoncyteris spelea) transfer pollen when they visit the flowers for nectar. Honeybees are seen on the flowers too early in the afternoon to serve as pollinators. Natural pollination is possible only at night, the heavily fragrant flowers opening in late afternoon and being receptive from 5 P.M. until 6 A.M., but pollen begins to shed at 7 P.M. and other floral parts gradually fall, only the pistil remaining at 11 P.M.

The durian has a high rate of self-incompatibility. In peninsular Malaya, the norm is 20% to 25% fruit-set, and it is realized that cross-pollination is essential to obtaining good crops. Hand-pollination performed during the day on buds that would open in 24 to 36 hours gives a much higher percentage of fruit-set than pollination of opened flowers. In unopened flowers the style is 1/3 as long as in fully opened flowers and the pollen reaches the ovules more quickly.


The durian is ultra-tropical and cannot be grown above an altitude of 2,000 ft (600 m) in Ceylon; 2,300 ft (700 m) in the Philippines, 2,600 ft (800 m) in Malaysia. The tree needs abundant rainfall. In India, it flourishes on the banks of streams, where the roots can reach water.


Best growth is achieved on deep alluvial or loamy soil.


Durian seeds lose viability quickly, especially if exposed even briefly to sunlight. Even in cool storage they can be kept only 7 days. Viability can be maintained for as long as 32 days if the seeds are surface-sterilized and placed in air-tight containers and held at 68º F (20º C).

They have been successfully shipped to tropical America packed in a barely moist mixture of coconut husk fiber and charcoal. Ideally, they should be planted fresh, flat-side down, and they will then germinate in 3 to 8 days. Seeds washed, dried for 1 or 2 days and planted have shown 77-80% germination. It is reported that, in some countries, seedling durian trees have borne fruit at 5 years of age. In India, generally, they come into bearing 9 to 12 years after planting, but in South India they will not produce fruit until they are 13 to 21 years old. In Malaya, seedlings will bloom in 7 years; grafted trees in 4 years or earlier.

Neither air-layers nor cuttings will root satisfactorily. Inarching can be accomplished with 50% success but is not a popular method because the grafts must be left on the trees for many months. Selected cultivars are propagated by patch-budding (a modified Forkert method) onto rootstocks 2 months old and pencil-thick, and the union should be permanent within 25 to 30 days. The plants can be set out in the field within 14 to 16 months. Grafted trees never grow as tall as seedlings; they are usually between 26 to 32 ft (8-10 m) tall; rarely 40 ft (12 m).


Generally, durian trees receive little or no horticultural attention in the Far East. Young grafted plants, however, need good care. They should be staked, irrigated daily in the dry season, given monthly feedings of about 1/5 oz (5 g) of a 6-6-6 fertilizer formula, and the rootstock should be pruned gradually as leaves develop on the scion. When set out in the field, the trees should be 30 to 40 ft (9 to 12 m) apart each way.

Studies in Malaya have shown that a harvest of 6,000 lbs of fruits from an acre (6,720 kg from a hectare) removes the following nutrients from the soil: N, 16.1 lbs/acre (roughly equal kg/ha); P, 2.72 lbs/acre (roughly equal kg/ha); K, 27.9 lbs/acre (roughly equal kg/ha); Ca, 1.99 lbs/acre (roughly equal kg/ha); Mg, 3.26 lbs/ acre (roughly equal kg/ha).


In Ceylon, the durian generally blooms in March and April and the fruits mature in July and August, but these periods may shift considerably, with the weather. Malaya has two fruiting seasons: early, in March and April; late, in September and October. Nearly all cultivars mature within the very short season during which the fruits are present in great numbers in local markets.


In rural areas, villagers clear the ground beneath the durian tree. They build grass huts nearby at harvest time and camp there for 6 or 8 weeks in order to be ready to collect each fruit as soon as it falls. Caution is necessary when approaching a durian tree during the ripening season, for the falling fruits can cause serious injury. Hunters place traps in the surrounding area because the fallen fruits attract game animals and all kinds of birds. The fruit is also placed as bait for game in the forests.


Durians mature in 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 months from the time of fruit-set. Seedling trees in India may bear 40 to 50 fruits annually. Well-grown, high-yielding cultivars should bear 6,000 lbs of fruit per acre (6,720 kg/ha).

Keeping Quality

Durians are highly perishable. They are fully ripe 2 to 4 days after falling and lose eating quality in 5 or 6 days.

Pests and Diseases

Minor pests in the Philippines are the white mealybug (Pseudococcus lilacinus) and the giant mealybug (Drosicha townsendi) which infest young and developing fruits.

Very few diseases have been reported. In West Malaysia, patch canker caused by Phytophthora palmivora was first noted in 1934. It is becoming increasingly common on roots and stems of durian seedlings. Infection in the field begins at the collar with oozing of brownish-red gum and extends up the trunk and down to the roots. Sometimes a tree is completely girdled at the base and dies. Testing of 13 clones showed that all but 2 were susceptible. The 2 resistant clones succumbed after the stems were wounded and inoculated. It is evident that pruning injuries have provided access for the organism. The disease is encouraged by close-planting which shades the soil and promotes dampness. Weeds, grass and mulch around the collar are also contributing factors. Budded trees are particularly susceptible because of their habit of putting forth low branches and the occurrence of cracks where these join the main stem. When these low branches are pruned, the wound must be immediately treated with a fungicide.

Food Uses

Durians are sold whole, or cut open and divided into segments, which are wrapped in clear plastic. The flesh is mostly eaten fresh, often out-of-hand. It is best after being well chilled in a refrigerator. Sometimes it is simply boiled with sugar or cooked in coconut water, and it is a popular flavoring for ice cream. Javanese prepare the flesh as a sauce to be served with rice; they also combine the minced flesh with minced onion, salt and diluted vinegar as a kind of relish; and they add half-ripe arils to certain dishes. Arabian residents prefer to mix the flesh with ice and sirup. In Palembang, the flesh is fermented in earthen pots, sometimes smoked, and eaten as a special sidedish.

Durian flesh is canned in sirup for export. It is also dried for local use and export. Blocks of durian paste are sold in the markets. In Bangkok much of the paste is adulterated with pumpkin. Malays preserve the flesh in salt in order to keep it on hand the year around to eat with rice, even though it acquires a very strong and, to outsiders, most disagreeable odor. The unripe fruit is boiled whole and eaten as a vegetable.

The seeds are eaten after boiling, drying, and frying or roasting. In Java, the seeds may be sliced thin and cooked with sugar as a confection; or dried and fried in coconut oil with spices for serving as a side-dish.




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Taken on September 26, 2008