Balimbing / Starfruit-Averrhoa carambola PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bonsai King   
Monday, 14 December 2009 13:41

Local Name:

Balimbing / Starfruit

Scientific Name:

Averrhoa carambola

Family:

Oxalidaceae

Habitat

The Averhoa carambola is believed to have originated in Ceylon and the Moluccas but it has been cultivated in southeast Asia and Malaysia for many centuries. It is grown in the provinces of Fukien, Kuangtung and Kuangsi in southern China, in Taiwan and India. It is also popular in the Philippines and Queensland, Australia, and in some of the South Pacific islands, particularly Tahiti, New Caledonia and Netherlands New Guinea, and in Guam and Hawaii.

Propagation

The balimbing is best propagated from seed

Comments

The balimbing tree is slow-growing, short trunked, bushy, broad, rounded crown and reaches 20 to 30 ft in height. Its deciduous leaves, spirally arranged, are alternate, imparipinnate, 6 to 10 inches long, with 5 to 11 nearly opposite leaflets, ovate to ovate-oblong, 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 in long; soft, medium-green, and smooth on the upper surface, finely hairy and whitish on the underside. The leaflets are sensitive to light and more or less inclined to fold together at night or when the tree is shaken or shocked. Small clusters of red-stalked, lilac, purple-streaked, downy flowers, about 1/4 inĀ  wide, are borne on the twigs in the axils of the leaves. The attractive, oblong, longitudinally 5- to 6-angled fruits, 2 1/2 to 6 in long and up to 3 1/2 wide, have thin, waxy, orange-yellow skin and juicy, crisp, yellow flesh when fully ripe. Slices cut in cross-section have the form of a star. The fruit has a more or less pronounced oxalic acid odor and the flavor ranges from very sour to mildly sweetish when very ripe. The so-called "sweet" types rarely contain more than 4% sugar. There may be up to 12 flat, thin, brown seeds 1/4 to 1/2 in long or none at all.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 01:02