Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Durio spp. (Durian, red burong)

Nomenclature etc. BOMBACACEAE. Durio griffithii, D. lowianus, D. oxleyanus, D. wyatt-smithii, D. zibethinus; in addition, timbers of the genera Coelostegia and Neesia are traded as 'durian'. Trade and local names: durian (MY, ID, DE); punggai, durian isa (MY) -- Coelostegia spp.; bengang, apa-apa (MY) -- Neesia spp. Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indomalesia.

General. Heartwood basically brown to red. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.4–0.65 g/cm³. Sapwood often very wide, occupying up to 50% or more of total tree volume.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 150–320 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 2–4. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 3–4 µm or 5–7 µm. Intervessel pits very small (3–4 µm) in Coelostegia spp., somewhat larger (5–7 µm) in Durio spp. and Neesia spp.. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (reddish brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres very thin-walled, or of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, simple to minutely bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), scalariform, fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 6–9.

Rays. Rays multiseriate (also if only few), 1–4 cells wide. Rays of two distinct sizes. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells. Tile cells present.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals present, traumatic origin, axial type, in short tangential lines.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered, or not chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Silica present or not observed, as grains, in axial parenchyma. Silica observed only in: Durio griffithii, D. wyatt-smithii, Coelostegia griffithii.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Durio malaccensis. • Tangential section 1. Durio malaccensis. • Tangential section 2. Durio sp. • Radial section. Durio sp. Note tile cells in rays (blow-up in next picture). • Miscellaneous. Durio sp. Prismatic crystals in non-chambered axial parenchyma cells (left); tile cells in rays (right).


The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2000 onwards. Commercial timbers: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Version: 25th June 2009. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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