The Gardenisto | January 27, 2014
The Averrhoa Carambola, more commonly called the Starfruit for the shape made by a cross-sectional cut in the fruit, is a tropical species of tree native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The 2 to 6 inch fruits, with 4 to 8 ribs, have a distinct flavor resembling green apple, pears, and grape, with a tart component. The tart component is the result of concentrations of oxalic acid, which is considered harmful to persons with kidney issues. Persons with kidney issues may also, be unable to filter out a neurotoxin found in Carambola Averrhoa
The fruit of the Carambola tree, is also rich in antioxidants, Potassium, Vitamin C, and even exhibits antimicrobial activity. A typical Carambola tree can produce within 4 to 5 years, and has interesting and ornamental leaves.
A variety of named cultivars exist. Propagation from seed is possible, and germination rates vary depending on the freshness of seed, and variety. Some cultivated varieties of Carambola do not have seeds.
The Star Fruit is also an attractive Nyctinastic plant. Meaning it will close up leaves, when it is dark, or disturbed.