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Star Fruit – Averrhoa Carambola

The plant I have chosen is commonly called star fruit and its scientific name Averrhoa carambola L. The star fruit is in the oxalidaceae family and it originated in Southeast Asia. Although star fruit are now grown throughout many tropical and warm subtropical areas of the world. In the United States they are grown commercially in southern Florida and Hawaii (Crane). Of all the many locations that star fruit are grown Taiwan claims to grow the very best star fruit. The carambola or star fruit is a slow-growing, short trunk evergreen tree with its many branches forming a bushy canopy that is rounded. Mature trees seldom exceed 25 to 30 feet in height and 20 to 25 feet in width. The leaves are soft, medium green, and smooth on the top and faintly hairy on the bottom. They are sensitive to light and will fold together at night or when the tree is shocked (Fruit Gardner). The flowers are small pink to lavender colored and have five petals and sepals. The actual fruit is a fleshy berry with a wary surface. They are two to six inches long with five prominent longitudinal ribs. Slices cut in cross-sections are star shaped. The skin is thin, yellow, and smooth with a waxy cuticle. The flesh is yellow, translucent, crisp and very juicy. Star fruit is sweet and even sweeter when allowed to ripen on the tree. They are low in calories and a good source of potassium and vitamin C (Crane). The seeds are edible but usually a fruit contains less than twelve. They are long, thin, light brown, and enclosed by a gelatinous aril.
Star fruit grow best in tropical climates although they also do well in warm subtropical climates that may experience occasional freezing. They are not too particular about soil types but they will grow faster and bear more fruit in a rich loam. Star fruit need moisture for best production, this means regular watering or irrigation.Young carambola trees should receive light applications of fertilizers every 60 to 90 days unt…

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