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Tree (Durio zibethinus) of the mallow family (Malvaceae) and its fruit, cultivated in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Thailand. The tree has oblong, tapering leaves and yellowish green flowers and resembles the elm in shape. The spherical fruit has a hard spiny shell and contains five oval compartments, each filled with an edible, cream-coloured, custardlike pulp, in which are embedded one to five chestnut-sized seeds, which are edible if roasted. The ripe fruits are eaten by many animals. Though the durian has a mild, sweet flavour, it also has a pungent foul odour. It is seldom exported.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on durian, visit Britannica.com.