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Oxalidaceae, Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi

March 1, 2008

Oxalidaceae, Averrhoa bilimbi, young treeOxalidace, bilimbi, fruiting

The Bilimbi originated in Indonesia and is now dispersed throughout the tropics although still not very common.

For most people, the Bilimbi is too acidic to be eaten raw, it is more commonly used in the preparation of marmalades, jellies, cooked with meat and fish, and used to make vinegars and juices. Many medicinal properties are attributed to Bilimbi (for colds, inflammation of the eyes and intestines, among others). The fruit can also be used to clean copper and iron due to its high content of calcium oxalate.

Bilimbi is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous and iron.

The Bilimbi is less resistant to cold and drought than its close relative, the Carambola. It is not particular to soil type but it won’t grow well higher than five hundred meters above sea level.

The Bilimbi typically begins to produce after four years of growth and continues to bare fruit year round.

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