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Star Fruit

Averrhoa carambola L.

Brief Summary

    Averrhoa carambola: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Averrhoa carambola is a species of tree in the family Oxalidaceae; it has a number of common names, including carambola and star fruit.

    This evergreen tree is native to Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. A. carambola is a small tree or shrub that grows 5–12 metres tall, with rose to red-purple flowers. The flowers are small and bell-shaped, with five petals that have whitish edges. The flowers are often produced year round under tropical conditions.

    The tree is cultivated in tropical and semitropical regions for its edible fruits and for its medicinal uses. Botanically pericarp is the edible portion of fruit which is juicy.

    Brief Summary
    provided by EOL authors
    The Star Fruit or Carambola (Averrhoa carambola) probably originated in Southeast Asia, but is now found throughout the humid tropics and subtropics. This small tree (to 15 m in height) bears rose-colored flowers that yield yellow fruits that are 8 to 12 cm long. The common name derives from the shape of the fruit in cross section. The fruit is over 90% water and is used in fruit salads, tarts, preserves, and drinks. Total sugars are around 7%, roughly half glucose and half sucrose. The acid component is mainly citric acid. The other species in the genus Averrhoa, A. bilimbi, produces a sour fruit used for pickles, jellis, and curries. (Vaughan and Geissler 1997) Carambola is a distylous species, with individual trees having either pin (long-styled) or thrum (short-styled) flowers; each flower is compatible with flowers of the other type, but self-incompatible and incompatible with flowers of the same morph. For satisfactory fruit production, growers must plant a mixture of the two morphs, one of which acts as a pollenizer. The presence of a pollenizer is sometimes achieved by bud-grafting to a branch of the producing tree material of a different morph. (Wong et al. 1994a,b) Ingesting Carambola can be very dangerous for individuals with renal failure (e.g., Chang et al. 2002; Signate et al. 2009).

Comprehensive Description

    Averrhoa carambola
    provided by wikipedia

    Averrhoa carambola is a species of tree in the family Oxalidaceae; it has a number of common names, including carambola and star fruit.[1]

    This evergreen tree is native to Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.[2][3] A. carambola is a small tree or shrub that grows 5–12 metres tall, with rose to red-purple flowers. The flowers are small and bell-shaped, with five petals that have whitish edges. The flowers are often produced year round under tropical conditions.

    The tree is cultivated in tropical and semitropical regions for its edible fruits and for its medicinal uses. Botanically pericarp is the edible portion of fruit which is juicy.

    Description

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    An illustration of the fruit, leaves, and flowers of Averrhoa carambola
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    A seedling

    Averrhoa carambola is a small, slow-growing evergreen tree with a short-trunk or a shrub. The branches are drooping and the wood is white and turns reddish.[4] It has a bushy shape with many branches producing a broad, rounded crown. The compound leaves are soft, medium-green, they are spirally arranged around the branches in an alternate fashion. The pinnate leaves have a single terminal leaflet and 5 to 11 nearly opposite leaflets, each leaf is 15–20 cm long, and the 3.8–9 cm long leaflets are ovate or ovate-oblong in shape. The top sides of the leaves are smooth and the undersides are finely hairy and whitish. The leaflets are reactive to light and tend to fold together at night, they are also sensitive to abrupt shock and when shaken tend to close up also. The lilac or purple-streaked, downy, flowers are produced in the axils of leaves at the end of twigs. The flowers are arranged in small clusters on the ends of the branches or sometimes on the larger stems and trunk, each cluster is attached to the tree with red stalks. The bell shaped, perfect flowers, are produced in loose panicles that are much-branched with pedicellate flowers; each flower is around 6 mm wide, with 5 petals that have recurved ends. The fruits are showy with an oblong shape: they are longitudinally 5- to 6-angled and 6.35–15 cm long and up to 9 cm wide. The fruits have a thin, waxy skin that is orange-yellow colored. The juicy fruits are yellow inside when ripe and have a crisp texture and when cut in cross-section are star shaped. The fruits have an oxalic acid odor, which varies between plants from strong to mild, the taste also varies from very sour to mildly sweetish. Each fruit may have up to twelve 6-12.5 mm long seeds, which are flat, thin and brown. Some cultivated forms produce fruits with no seeds.[5][6]

    Taxonomy

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    Leaves - both sides in India.
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    Flowers

    The species in the genus Averrhoa along with the species in genus Sarcotheca are the only woody, tree-like plants belonging to the Oxalis family Oxalidaceae. The Oxalis family has nearly 900 species, most are herbaceous perennials or annuals native from tropical and semitropical locations though a number also grow in other parts of the world. Averrhoa has sometimes been placed in the family Averrhoaceae.[7] Averrhoa carambola is one of two species in the genus Averrhoa, both have edible fruit; the other species Averrhoa bilimbi, which is sometimes called the Bilimbi or the Cucumber Tree, is limited to tropical regions. The fruits of A. bilimbi are too sour to be eaten raw, while the sweet forms A. carambola are eaten raw. The fruits of A. bilimbi and the sour forms, which have high oxalic acid content, of A. carambola are pickled and made into jelly, jam, and juice. The genus was named after Abū 'l-Walīd Muḥammad bin Aḥmad bin Rushd (better known just as Ibn Rushd), who was called Averroes in European literature - a famous Arabian physician,[8] astronomer and philosopher of the 12th century.[9]

    Past synonyms include:[10]

    • Averrhoa pentandra Blanco, Fl. Filip., 392. 1837.
    • Averrhoa acutangula Stokes, Bot. Mat. Med. vol. 2, 543. 1812.
    • Connaropsis philippica Villar in Blanco, Fl. Filip. ed. vol. 3, app. 33. 1880.

    The tree and fruits have many different names, Carambola is the Spanish vernacular name of the tree.[8] In English it is called Star fruit, Carambola and Chinese gooseberry,[11] in Malaysia and the Philippines it has numerous names.[9] In Indonesia it is called belimbing, in Tagalog it is called balimbing. The related bilimbi is called kamias in Tagalog.

    Cultivation

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    Fruits, leaves and trunk

    Averrhoa carambola has a number of different forms differing in fruit taste, texture, and shape, some are very acidic and others are sweet. The plant is grown in Malaysia and Taiwan, with smaller concentrations in Thailand, Israel, Florida, Brazil, Philippines, China, Australia, Indonesia and the warmer parts of India and other areas of the world with the same climate. It has become a commercial crop in many of these locations, grown for its edible fruits.[12] The flowers need cross pollination to produce fruit, thus seed raised plants are variable. Plants may flower and bear fruit in about a year after seed germination. Larger plants may bloom year round in tropical areas as long as environmental conditions are suitable, plants may have flowers, unripe and ripe fruit at the same time. Under other climate and environmental conditions, plants tend to bloom in spring, and then off and on again during the rest of the year. Many different cultivars are grown, most are selected to optimize fruit flavor and maximum fruit production for specific growing areas, with each country or region having their own specific selections.[12]

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    Fruit

    Toxicology

    Like several other plants of the family Oxalidaceae, its fruits are rich in oxalic acid, which is toxic in high concentrations.

    There have been reports of intoxication in dialysis and uremic patients caused by a neurotoxin called caramboxin[13][14] present in the fruit. Such toxin is normally filtered by the kidneys, but patients in dialysis or suffering from kidney deficiencies may show severe symptoms, in a few cases fatal,[15] after drinking the fruit juice.

    References

    1. ^ https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=all&search_value=Averrhoa+carambola&search_kingdom=every&search_span=exactly_for&categories=All&source=html&search_credRating=All
    2. ^ Carambola
    3. ^ Avverhoa Carambola L.
    4. ^ Author, L.D. Kapoor (1990), CRC handbook of ayurvedic medicinal plants, Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, p. 58, ISBN 0-8493-0559-4.mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    5. ^ http://www.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=1377
    6. ^ Editors, P.K. Warrier; Illustrations, R. Vasudevan Nair (2002), Indian medicinal plants : a compendium of 500 species, Madras: Orient Longman, p. 224, ISBN 81-250-0301-0
    7. ^ http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/genus.pl?1191
    8. ^ a b Deborah, Pauline; Waller, Ridling (4 February 2006), "Glow with stars:", Hindu: Online edition of India's National Newspaper, Chennai, India
    9. ^ a b Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000), CRC world dictionary of plant names : common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology, Boca Raton: CRC Press, p. 241, ISBN 0-8493-2673-7
    10. ^ "Averrhoa carambola L" ipk-gatersleben.de.
    11. ^ House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain (1884). Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 54. p. 203. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
    12. ^ a b Ray, P.K. (2002), Breeding tropical and subtropical fruits, New Delhi: Narosa Pub. Pub. House, pp. 307–09, ISBN 3-540-42855-0
    13. ^ Garcia-Cairasco, N., Moyses-Neto, M., Del Vecchio, F., Oliveira, J. A. C., dos Santos, F. L., Castro, O. W., Arisi, G. M., Dantas, M., Carolino, R. O. G., Coutinho-Netto, J., Dagostin, A. L. A., Rodrigues, M. C. A., Leão, R. M., Quintiliano, S. A. P., Silva, L. F., Gobbo-Neto, L. and Lopes, N. P. (2013). "Elucidating the Neurotoxicity of the Star Fruit". Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52: 13067–13070. doi:10.1002/anie.201305382.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
    14. ^ Carolino, R. O. G (2002), Atividade Biológica e Purificação Parcial da Neurotoxina da Fruta Averrhoa carambola L. (Oxalidaceae)., Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil: Departamento de Bioquímica da Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto - USP
    15. ^ Chang, J.M.; Hwang, S.J.; KUO; et al. (2000). "Fatal outcome after ingestion of star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) in uremic patients". Am J. Kidney Dis. 35: 189–193. doi:10.1016/s0272-6386(00)70325-8.CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link)
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Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    Distribution: Cultivated in parts of China, India, Burma, Malaysia and Madagascar; ornamental in parts of S. America.
    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan [native to tropical SE Asia].

Morphology

    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    A beautiful tree when in full bloom with pale rose coloured flowers. The sour fruit is eaten raw or cooked. The juice of the fruit is used to remove stains from linen. The fruit when dried is used as an antiscorbutic, in fevers and as a cooling agent; when ripe it is helpful for bleeding piles.
    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    This species is cultivated throughout the tropics for its fruit, for which there are many cultivars differing in size and flavor.
    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Tree 4-6 m tall. Younger branches and shoots tomentose. Leaves impari¬pinnate; leaflets opposite to subopposite, subsessile, elliptic to ovate, 5-8.5 cm long, 3-4.5 cm broad, the terminal the largest; acuminate, upper surface glabrous, lower sparsely pubescent. Flowers in axillary tomentose panicles. Bract 1.5 mm long, ovate. Pedicel 2 mm long. Sepals 3.5 mm long, ovate, imbricate, persistent. Petals 8-9 mm long, elliptic oblong, lilac to purple, slightly connate above the base. Stamens 10, often 5 antheriferous, alternating with 5 staminodes; filament 2 mm long, curved, persistent, base dilated; anthers obovate to ovate, basifixed; Ovary c. 1.8 mm long, pubescent, with 5 acute lobes; styles 5, glandular, persistent; stigma capitate. Berry 6-7.5 cm long, narrowly oblong, acutely 5 ridged, yellow when mature. Seeds arillate, often few abortive in fruit.
    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Plants 3-12(-15) m tall, densely branched, young parts finely pubescent or glabrous. Leaves 7-25 cm; petiole 2-8 cm; leaflets (3-)5-13; petiolules 1-2.5 mm; leaflet blades ovate to elliptic, 3-8 × 1.5-4.5 cm, abaxially pubescent to nearly glabrous, base obliquely rounded, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescences axillary or rameal, panicles or cymes, branches and flower buds crimson. Flowers numerous, small. Sepals narrowly elliptic, 3-5 mm, base sparingly pubescent. Petals white with purple markings or pink to red with darker markings, 6-9 × 3-4 mm. Shorter stamens sterile, occasionally 1 or 2 fertile. Ovary pubescent. Berry yellow to yellow-brown, oblong, 7-13 × 5-8 cm, deeply (3-)5(or 6)-ribbed, stellate in cross section, very fleshy. Seeds numerous, blackish brown. Fl. Apr-Dec, fr. Jul-Dec.

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by eFloras
    Cultivated areas, sometimes escaping to roadsides and secondary open forests; below 1000 m.

Cyclicity

    Flower/Fruit
    provided by eFloras
    Fl. Per. Twice a year; January-February and August-September.