Star fruits get their name from their shape, which is like a 5-pointed star.

This page provides some basic information on starfruit and some photos of starfruit (carambola), and a star fruit recipe.

Basic information on starfruit

English: Carambola or Starfruit
Family: Oxalidaceae
Origin: Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia
Distribution: Southeast Asia and Malaysia, Caribbean islands, Central America, tropical South America, tropical West Africa, Zanzibar, southern China, Taiwan, India, Philippines, Australia, Tahiti, Hawaii, etc.

Flowers: The fragrant flowers of star fruit have a pink color and are about 1 cm in diameter. Flowers are borne in clusters in axils of leaves on young branches, or they grow on older branches without leaves. The trees bloom several times throughout the year.

Leaves: The leaves of star fruit are spirally arranged and 15 to 25 cm long. Leaves have 5 to 11 nearly opposite, ovate-oblong leaflets. These leaflets are 4 to 8 centimeter long. The leaves are soft, medium-green, and smooth on the upper surface. The underside is faintly hairy with a whitish color. The leaflets are sensitive to light and usually fold together at night or when the tree is disturbed.

Fruits: Carambola fruits are ovate to ellipsoid in shape. They are 6 to 13 cm long and the fruits have 5 (sometimes 4 or 6) longitudinal ribs. The fruit has a golden-yellow to green color. When cut across it shows a 5-pointed star shape, which is why it is also called "star fruit". The crunchy fruits have a slightly tart, acidic, sweet taste. The fruit starts out with a green color. As it ripens the color turns to yellow. The fruit cab be eaten in both the green and yellow stages.

Climate and weather: Tropical and sub-tropical climates

Height: 5 - 9 meter
Crwon: The carambola tree has a much-branched, bushy, broad, rounded crown.
Type of soil: Carambola prefers rich loam, but also grows well on sand, heavy clay or limestone. It cannot stand flooding and needs good drainage.
Growth rate: Slow growing tree.
Propagation: Grown from seed.
Insect pests: Star fruit can be attacked by Fruit flies, Fruit moths, and Fruit spotting bugs.
Harvesting: Fruits fall to the ground when fully ripe. Hand pick the fruits when mature (pale green with a touch of yellow).
Uses: Fruits are eaten fresh or are used to make juice.


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