, which is also called Carambola
, is a tree and fruit is popular throughout Southeast Asia especially Malaysia, and parts of East Asia. It is also grown throughout the tropics such as in Trinidad, Guyana SA and in the United States, in south Florida, most parts of Brazil and Hawaii. It is closely related to the bilimbi. The star shaped cross section gives the carambola its other common name, Star fruit.
The Carambola or Star fruit have been grown in parts of Asia for hundreds of years - some claim that it originated in Sri Lanka and Moluccas. Malaysia is the global leader in starfruit production by volume, and ships the product all over Asia and Europe. Due to concerns on pests and pathogens, however, whole starfruits cannot yet be imported to the US from Malaysia, under current FDA/USDA regulation. In the United States, starfruits are grown in tropical and semi tropical areas, including Florida, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
It's best to consume a star fruit when ripe. An unripe fruit will appear green, while a ripe Carambola will display colors of bright yellow with a light shade of green. It will also have brown ridges at the five edges and feel firm. An overripe fruit will be yellow with brown spots. The fruit is entirely edible, including the slightly waxy skin. It is sweet without being overwhelming and extremely juicy. The taste is difficult to compare, but it has been likened to a mix of papaya, orange and grapefruit all at once.
The star fruit, is a tropical and subtropical fruit. In India, it grows in up to 4,000 feet in elevation. It prefers a total exposition to the sun, but requires enough humidity and a total of 70 inches or more of rainfall a year. It does not have a preference in grounds but it requires a good drainage.
The carambolas are planted at least 20 feet from each other. Carambola is fertilized three times a year. It grows fast and produces food at 4 or 5 years of age, sometimes even before that. The large amount of rain during spring actually reduces the amount of fruit, but in ideal conditions carambola can produce from 200 to 400 pounds of fruit a year. The fruit is cultivated mainly during the months of June, July, and August, but sometimes year-round.
Star fruits are not suitable for patients on hemodialysis.