Here are some that we found: durian pulu (Brunei), durian nyekak (Batu Niah and region south of Miri), durian lai, durian merah, durian lukak (Miri).
Others have mentioned: papakin (Banjar) rian isu (Iban) durian kuning (Brunei – we didn’t find this name here, but someone did. It means “yellow durian.”) nyekak (Iban) ukan pakan (Iban)  ukak (Miri) Paken (Punan Malinu, East Kalimantan), Durian Utan (Malay for “Jungle Durian”) 


Scientific Name

The name “kutejensis” was given by a German botanist with the lovely germanic name Justus Carl Hasskarl (I love names that rhyme! Why don’t we do this in America?).  Hasskarl was working in the Botanical Garden in Bogor, Java, reorganizing taxonomic families.

Back in the day, the organization of durian species was an absolute mess. Linnaean taxonomy was just starting to be adopted, and botanists around the world were scrambling to give names to things to fit into the new set of rules.

That’s why dear Mr. Carl Hasskarl gave our durian the name Lahia kutejensis in 1858. I don’t know what a “Lahia” is, and apparently neither did anybody else.  It was the only plant in the imaginary genus, and as soon as somebody smarter realized that the little durian belonged in Durio the whole Lahia thing was dropped and disappeared for good.

Almost. Even today, if you look up Durio kutejensis on Wikipedia it will tell you it is synonymous with Lahia kutejensis. Although the name was changed, Mr. Hasskarl continues to get credit, so that all botanical literature lists the durian like this: “Durio kutejensis (Hassk). Becc.” That’s quite the title, but then, it is a very special durian.

The Becc. part is the second guy to get involved with naming Durio kutejensis.  Odoardo Beccari is considered one of the greatest botanists of the 20th century, and with reason. The man spent three years climbing around the jungles of Borneo looking for new plants. He’s responsible for naming eight species of durian, including the reclassification of Durio Kutejensis. Why he kept the kutejensis part, I have no idea. Despite my best efforts, I could not discover what “kutejensis” means or what inspired old Carl Hasskarl to give it to a durian.


Durio kutejensis seeds

Growing Durio Kutejensis


The Sarawak Department of Agriculture
recommends 3 varieties of Durio kutejensis and has registered them under
the identification tag “DK.” You can find more information by following
the link above.

This durian prefers clay rich soils in the hillsides of mixed lowland dipterocarp forests. It seems to be slightly more tolerant of higher elevation, growing up to 800 meters altitude.

The seeds are easily recognizable. While most seeds are tan, these seeds are a mahogany brown, slightly smaller and more ellipsoid, and very smooth. The germination rate is similar to other durian species, about 85% over a ten-day period.

photo by the Sarawak DoA

The most remarkable thing about the non-edible parts of Durio kutejensis is its flowers. The flowers are a gushing blood red, a splash of insanely brilliant color on an otherwise drab, camouflage-colored tree.

Back to A Complete List of Durian Species



  1. Md Mahir Avdullah says

    I tend to agree with “Saksi Mata” that the name kutejensis could have been derived from the name of the ancient East Borneo kingdom of Kutai. “Kutejensis” would mean to originate from “Kute”. And “Kute” could the western way of writing the word “Kutai”. And there are still provinces in East Kalimantan that retain the name “Kutai” e.g Kutai Timur, Kutai Kartanegara.

  2. Victor says

    Luv it!!! Thanks for writing this piece! I'm absolutely fascinated with Borneo's wild Durio spp. Makes me wonder why we only have a single species of durian in the Philippines, Durio zibethinus, as far as I know. Not sure if these are actually native and grow wild in southern Philippines, or were introduced early on from neighboring South East Asian countries.

  3. Vlk says

    So no onion, savory flavor? Wow, interesting. Your description of its flavor kind of drives me crazy though.. "strawberry-mango fruity" and avocado infused with gummy bear? Oh man.. This must be heavenly good. :-))

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