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Description for Averrhoa carambola
Averrhoa carambola, commonly called star fruit is a small, slow-growing, short-trunked tropical tree. It also serves as an attractive, multi-branched ornamental tree. It typically grows to 20-30 feet tall with a broad rounded crown featuring odd-pinnate, medium green leaves. Each leaf has 5-11 ovate to ovate-lanceolate leaflets. Leaflets are sensitive to light and touch, folding up like mimosas in the dark of night or if disturbed.
Fragrant rose flowers bloom in the leaf axils throughout the year, typically in up to four separate flushes. Flowers give way to waxy, oblong or ellipsoidal, 5-angled, orange or yellow-skinned fruits which are star-shaped when sliced in cross-section, hence the common name. Fruit flesh is juicy and ranges from sour to mildly sweet when ripe.
Fruits are typically eaten fresh, combined in salads with other fruits, added to dessert dishes or sliced for use as star-shaped garnishes. The fruit can be a laxative on account of the oxalic acid it contains. It is also used in traditional medicine for skin disorders and fevers.
It is valued by Chinese communities as a remedy for high blood pressure, whilst it is also said to reduce blood sugar levels and so is of help to diabetics. The flowers are used to relieve coughs. The leaves are used to treat rheumatism The seed is emmenagogue, galactagogue and abortifacient. The powdered seed is a good anodyne for treating asthma, colic, and jaundice
Planting and care
Caring for Averrhoa carambola
Typical uses of Averrhoa carambola
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