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Carambola or Starfruit
Oxalidaceae
Averrhoa carambola


heidbenati
heidbenati
Flower Petal # 1
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Type Categories Useful Parts

Tree


Oxalidaceae Family

Averrhoa Genus

Location

Native to Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.

The tree and its fruit are popular throughout Southeast Asia, Malaysia, the South Pacific and other parts of East Asia. The tree is cultivated also throughout the tropics such as in Trinidad, Guyana, and Brazil, and, in the United States, in south Florida, and Hawaii.

The carambola has been grown in parts of Asia for hundreds of years some claim that it originated in Sri Lanka and Moluccas. Malaysia is the global leader in starfruit production by volume, and ships the product all over Asia and Europe.

Due to concerns on pests and pathogens, however, whole starfruits cannot yet be imported to the US from Malaysia, under current FDA/USDA regulation. In the United States, starfruits are grown in tropical and semi tropical areas, including Florida, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.


Physical Description
Carambola or starfruit is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.
The carambola is closely related to the bilimbi. The fruit in cross section is a five-pointed star, hence its name.


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Oxalidaceae
Oxalidales
Oxalidales
Oxid Clad
Oxid-Faba
Fabidae
Bean-Like Class
Eurosids
Real Rose Class
Rosids
Rosids
Rose-Like Class
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Carambolas are best consumed when ripe, when they are yellow with a light shade of green. It will also have brown ridges at the five edges and feel firm. An overripe fruit will be yellow with brown spots.

The fruit is entirely edible, including the slightly waxy skin. It is sweet without being overwhelming and extremely juicy. The taste is difficult to compare, but it has been likened to a mix of papaya, orange and grapefruit all at once.

Star fruit is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and low in sugar, sodium and acid. Star fruit is a potent source of both primary and secondary polyphenolic antioxidants.

Carambola is a fairly complex fruit with many benefits like strawberries, but a small percent of the human population should be cautious of the fruit for health reasons. Like the grapefruit, carambola contains oxalic acid which can be harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure or under kidney dialysis treatment. Consumption by those with kidney failure can produce hiccups, vomiting, nausea, and mental confusion, and fatal outcomes have been documented in some patients.

Like the grapefruit, star fruit is considered to be a potent inhibitor of seven cytochrome P450 isoforms.These enzymes are significant in the first pass elimination of many medicines, and thus the consumption of star fruit or its juice in combination with certain medications can significantly increase their effective dosage within the body. Research into grapefruit juice has identified a number of common medications affected, including statins which are commonly used to treat cardiovascular illness, benzodiazepines (a tranquilizer family including diazepam) as well as other medicines.

The carambola is a tropical and subtropical fruit. In India, it grows in up to 4,000 feet in elevation. It prefers a total exposition to the sun, but requires enough humidity and a total of 70 inches or more of rainfall a year. It does not have a preference in grounds but it requires a good drainage.

Carambola trees are planted at least 20 feet from each other, and fertilized three times a year. The tree grows fast and produces food at 4 or 5 years of age, sometimes even before that. The large amount of rain during spring actually reduces the amount of fruit, but in ideal conditions carambola can produce from 200 to 400 pounds of fruit a year. The fruit is cultivated mainly during the months of June, July, and August, but sometimes year-round.

Major pests are fruit flies, ants, and birds. Crops are also susceptible to frosts, especially in the United States.



Carambola or Starfruit
Carambola or Starfruit - November 09, 2009



Carambola or Starfruit
Carambola or Starfruit - August 26, 2009



Carambola or Starfruit
Carambola or Starfruit - August 26, 2009



Carambola or Starfruit
Carambola or Starfruit - August 26, 2009



Carambola or Starfruit
Carambola or Starfruit - August 26, 2009



Carambola or Starfruit
Carambola or Starfruit - August 26, 2009



Carambola or Starfruit
Carambola or Starfruit - August 26, 2009

Comment: Carambola or Starfruit, Averrhoa carambola

Page Posts: 3


Heid

SP August 27, 2009
Not yet :-)
gardengeek
gardengeek
August 27, 2009
Do you have a picture of the leaves?
gardengeek
gardengeek
August 26, 2009
I remember those... I don't think I've ever tried one though..

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