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Oxalidaceae, Averrhoa carambola, grafted Carambola (starfruit) flowers and young fruit

April 22, 2008

The Starfruit is from Malaysia and Indonesia, now common throughout tropical Asia and the neo-tropics. Most of the world’s commercial cultivation occurs in Brazil, the West Indies, and Malaysia.

The tree is small, usually no larger then 12 m high. We grow grafted varieties in Panama that begin to bear fruit when just a few feet tall. Grafted trees can be managed at four meters and, in favorable conditions, bear so much fruit the branches will break if they aren’t harvested.

The fruit, as the name would suggest, is shaped like a star. There are multiple varieties of Starfruit, both sweet and sour. Sweet varieties tend to be lighter in color and smaller, about five inches long and three inches wide. Sour varieties are larger and more orange in color.

Starfruit is especially rich in Vitamins A, B, C, phosphorus and calcium. The vitamin C content is comparable to that of an orange. Each fruit contains between 8 – 10 % sugar.

In addition to the fruit, both the flower and leaf are edible. I have two Taiwanese varieties. Very compact, heavily bearing trees. I’m trying them on balconies in large pots.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sybell permalink
    May 3, 2009 10:08:34 am

    I am trying to get pregnant and I have been adviced to take an infusion with star fruit. Does it make sense? How?

    • May 3, 2009 10:08:18 pm

      I’m no expert, but I would point out that Starfruit contains significant amounts of oxalic acid, which is supposed to be avoided during pregnancy because it can inhibit the body’s absorption of calcium and iron. I can’t think of any reason why starfruit might be beneficial when trying to conceive. I would ask whoever gave you that advice for the specific reason why they suggest starfruit.

  2. elizabeth permalink
    September 17, 2013 10:08:16 pm

    hi, i’m 2 months pregnant and have been craving for star fruit, i’ve taken it once during my pregnancy, will it have a negative effect on my child? because as i was taking it i felt stomach upset but i couldn’t resist. please help me thanks.

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