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Visit to Chiang Rai I: Durian fruiting!

July 15, 2011

Bruce Hugman is a British gentleman with homes in London, Enköping and Chiang Rai. He is an Orchid Ark benefactor and so I visited him recently in his 35 rai land. Remarkably, one of Bruce’s ten years old durian trees (Durio zibethinus, Malavaceae) produced  a fruit this year! This must be one of the most northern sites for durian production. This and two other trees were planted in a slope facing east, and screened by other trees in the direction of the morning sun. This was probably the trick – a screen of moisture preserved by other taller trees. Bruce admitted his durian trees did look miserable for many years, but suddenly they grew rapidly. This year it grew about one meter, so far. We are not sure which variety of durian this is, nor if there is a durian selected for a northern climate. If anybody knows, please share!

Together we had a great time identifying his collections of trees built up during ten years, and we did some serious plant shopping and brain stormed about future projects and collaborations. In the evening of the second day we ate a delicious dinner – more of that tomorrow!

The size of the Chiang Rai durian was normal, i.e. the size of a head. July 14, 2011.

Bruce is a tall man, but his durian is taller!

Text and photo: Eric Danell


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