The Star fruit tree is a wonderful and beautiful tree, which is also known as the carambola tree and five corner tree. Carambola is a Portuguese word which is believed to be derived from the Marathi word ‘karambal’. It is believed to have originated from South East Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It is a tropical tree that is quite sensitive to the colder temperatures.
It is a small tree, it does not grow very tall and it also does not grow wide, which makes it ideal to grow in your home garden or backyard. It is a slow-growing tree and it is famous for its delicious and fibrous fruits. If you cut the fruit of this tree sideways, it looks like a star, which is why it is called star fruit tree.
There are lots of varieties of star fruit tree and if you plan to plant this tree then you should make sure that you pick a right variety that produces sweet fruits because there a lot of varieties that produces fruits that are not that sweet and tasty.
Star Fruit Tree – Basic Description
It is a tropical and subtropical tree that is be found up to an altitude of 1200 to 1500 meters, although now it is grown in many different types of climates. Star fruit plant needs plenty of sunlight and water to grow properly. The star fruit tree belongs to the family “Oxalidaceae” and its scientific name is “Averrhoa Carambola”.
Carambola is not a very tall tree and it generally grows in the height range of 6 to 12 meters. It is a slow-growing evergreen tree, it has stooping branches, and the wood of this tree is generally white in color which turns to a reddish color as the tree matures.
The leaves of this tree are green to dark green in color; each leaf is about 20 to 40 cm long. The leaves grow in a pinnate arrangement with a single terminal leaflet, and the leaflets are ovate-oblong in shape. The color of the flowers is white, red, or purple and they are small in size having a bell-like shape.
The fruit is the most distinct part of the tree and its fruit is not very sweet but it’s sweet enough. These fruits are generally yellow or orange in color and each fruit contains multiple long seeds.
Benefits Of Star Fruit
The star fruit is a very special and unique shaped fruit, this fruit has five distinctive margins, and on cutting it in the transversal section it resembles a star, that’s why it is called as ‘star fruit’. This fruit can be eaten as it is, or else there are many other recipes in which it is added, and it is also used in making of various salads.
This fruit has a low-calorie count as compared to other fruits; as such it is used in the diet which is advised for weight loss. The outer skin of the star fruit is a rich source of dietary fibers, and these fibers help to decrease the level of bad cholesterol significantly in the body.
Star fruit also contains a high amount of potassium, phosphorus, and zinc, as such, it is good for keeping the heart and circulatory system healthy.
Many people like to consume star fruit in the form of juice; as such it helps to keep the body hydrated and energetic.
Star fruit is also rich in antioxidants which removes harmful free radicals from the body and rejuvenates the whole body.
This fruit is a rich source of vitamin C; as such it helps to boost the immune system, which in turn protects the body from many harmful diseases.
The star fruit also helps in diabetes as it is low in carbohydrates and has a high content of fibers.
How To Grow A Carambola Tree
In terms of propagating the star fruit tree, growing it from seeds is the easiest and effective way. If you take the seed out of a freshly picked piece of fruit it will be viable for about two or three days. Only large and thick seeds are suitable for propagation, as such if you are planning to grow the star fruit tree from its seeds, you should make sure to pick healthy large and thick seeds.
Fruits that are bought from the supermarket usually do not have any viable seeds in them. So you should definitely make sure that you are using the correct seed for propagation. The star fruit tree can be grown in any season except the summer season in the tropical and the subtropical areas.
But if you are trying to grow this tree in the colder climate areas then summertime can be the most suitable time because the star fruit tree is not much tolerant of the colder climates.
The seeds of the star fruit tree can be directly planted into the ground or else if you want you can also grow it in a big pot. The advantage of planting this tree in a pot is that it can be moved anytime, so if the weather outside is very chilly, then the pot can be kept inside to prevent any harm to the plant.
Star fruit tree can grow in a variety of soil types but a well-drained, loamy soil which is rich in organic matter is the most suitable type of soil for growing this tree.
In the initial stages, the star fruit tree needs to be regularly watered because it has a high water requirement in the early stages. And once this tree establishes it must be watered as and when the soil becomes dry.
The star fruit tree generally grows very easily and does not require much fertilization but adding manure and compost to the soil for improving the soil quality shall be done at regular intervals.
The carambola tree generally blooms for the first time after three years of planting and the flowers may take around two months’ time to become the fruits. It does not require much pruning except for some of the branches which die after some time, so all you need to do is trim them out.