Carambola . Fruit tree species whose fruit , according to expert farmers, is characterized by being exotic and highly valued in international markets, as well as being one of the two varieties produced by plants that belong to the Oxalidaceae family .
Carambola is popularly known as “star fruit” or Star Fruit for the shape it takes when cut. This fruit is native to Indonesia and Malaysia . Its cultivation has spread to other tropical countries in Asia and America . The main producing countries today are Thailand , Brazil , Colombia and Bolivia .
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- 1 Taxonomy
- 1 Scientific name
- 1.1 Authors
- 2 Synonymy
- 3 Common name
- 1 Scientific name
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Origin
- 4 Description
- 5 General characteristics
- 1 Flowers
- 2 The fruit
- 3 Properties and benefits
- 6 varieties
- 7 Propagation
- 1 Climate and soil
- 2 Sowing
- 3 Harvest
- 4 Health
- 5 Winds
- 8 References
- 9 Source
- Averrhoa carambola L.
   
- Linnaeus, Carl von
- Published in: Species Plantarum 1: 428. 1753. (1 May 1753 ) 
- Averrhoa acutangula Stokes
- Averrhoa pentandra White
- Connaropsis philippica Villar
- Sarcotheca philippica (Villar) Hallier f. 
- Carom, star fruit, Chinese tamarind, cool tamarind, cucumber tree, star fruit, star fruit, star fruit, Chinese plum, Chinese fruit.
It is native to Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka and is popular throughout Southeast Asia, Malaysia, the Dominican Republic and parts of East Asia, also in Colombia in the Valle del Cauca region and on San Andrés Island, Venezuela , Mexico , Honduras , Costa Rica , Panama , Paraguay , Guatemala , El Salvador , Peru (Tarapoto, Huánuco, Iquitos, and part of the Peruvian jungle) also on the coast of Ecuador and in the Brazilian Amazon.
According to the bibliography it comes from Malaysia ( Cambodia and Laos ), although it has been extensively introduced in tropical regions. The producing countries of this tropical fruit are Malaysia , Thailand , Indonesia and Brazil .
Its fruit has a very curious, oval, elongated shape, with five edges or wings, and when cut, it has the shape of a five-pointed star, it is small in size, with a length that ranges between 7 and 12 cm; it has a fine, lustrous and edible skin, between green or gold and yellow-orange when ripe; the pulp is crisp, smooth in texture and glassy yellow, has few or no seeds , juicy and with a fine bittersweet flavor; the large fruits of the star fruit are tastier and sweeter than the smaller ones and have a bittersweet flavor.
The acidic carambola tree of the Amazonian foothills exhibits dense foliage with alternate, petiolate, odd-shaped, compound leaves that are tan in color when young and green in maturity. The leaves have between 9 and 13 pubescent leaflets on the underside and in the central area of the beam, the leaflets are more or less inclined. Trees present reproductive structures ( flowers and fruits ) in different degrees of development.
The carambola flowers are complete and long in style (longistilia), they are made up of five sepals, five petals, five stamens, five staminodia, and a super ovary with five styles. The flowers open gradually during the morning hours and close in the afternoon, during the opening they are visited by bees Apis mellifera and Trigona sp. In a follow-up to carambola inflorescences , it was found that less than 25% of the panicles present curdled fruits (between 1 and 8 fruits per inflorescence ); Likewise, it was observed that regularly only one fruit develops per panicle.
The fruit is a fleshy berry of ovoid to varied ellipsoidal shape, with four to six longitudinal and rounded edges that give it a typical star-shaped section, sometimes modified. The ripe berry is juicy, has a pleasant aroma, exhibits a dull orange color and contains one to five seeds. In the final size of the star fruit a high variability is observed, as a result of the dispersion and number of fruits on the tree (source-landfill relationship), the vigor of the plant, the development conditions and the wild character of the variety.
Properties and benefits
It has nutritional properties, since for its contribution of vitamin A and vitamin C , which contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, its consumption is highly recommended for children, young people, adults, athletes, pregnant women or nursing mothers and older people.
In addition, due to its low carbohydrate content , rich potassium and low sodium intake , they are recommended for people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure or heart and blood vessel conditions . Its potassium content should be taken into account by people with kidney failure and who require special controlled diets in this mineral.
Due to its abundance in calcium oxalate , its consumption is not convenient in case of renal lithiasis (calcium oxalate stones) and it is not recommended for people who suffer from kidney diseases that require a diet of potassium control, diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorders (delicate stomach, gastritis ).
Note that the major component of the Carom is water , also containing small amounts of carbohydrate carbon simple and even less of proteins and fats , so its calorific value is very low. Its fiber content gives laxative properties.
There are many varieties. There are two main types of starfruit, sweet and sour. Sweet types are recommended to be eaten fresh while both types are useful for processing into juices used with other fruits and in homemade recipes. Some varieties, such as ‘Golden Star’, acquire a sweet flavor if allowed to ripen.
Carambola varieties are generally grafted into patterns obtained from seeds. The patterns of the ‘Golden Star’ variety are better adapted to the calcareous (high pH ) soils of southern Miami-Dade County than the patterns of ‘Arkin.’ The grafts side and contrast screen during the time that growth is more active, have given the best results. Healthy seedlings that grow vigorously and ¼ inch (7mm) in diameter are best for patterns. Cuttings should be taken from mature leafy twigs and, if possible, when the buds have started to grow.
Alternatively, cuttings can be prepared 3-4 days before grafting, removing all leaves. This will stimulate the growth of the buds. Obsolete varieties can be exchanged using lateral and barbed grafts made from branches coming out of the trunks and cut branches. Layers and tissue cultures have been unsuccessful due to poor root development.
Climate and soil
This fruit tree requires high temperature throughout the year; likewise a high percentage of environmental humidity, is not demanding in soils, grows well in shallow sandy soils and in clayey soils, does not tolerate periods of flooding well and therefore requires soils with very good drainage.
The propagation can be done through asexual methods, such as grafts and cuttings or through the sexual route, using seeds. Propagation by seed carries great variability in the trees obtained, the seed maintains its viability for several months, these germinate 50 days after planting.
Produces its first harvest at 3 years; the fruits are harvested manually when they begin to change color from green to yellow , if they are left to ripen on the tree there is a risk that they will be bitten by the birds, losing their commercial value. The harvested fruits endure 5 to 7 days when they are stored in aerated environments.
Carambola does not have many health problems in America, perhaps the most important is that of the fruit fly. For this in Asia they bag the fruit individually. The usual thing is to make applications every 10 – 12 days of a mixture of Malathion plus an attractant (hydrolyzed protein or molasses), wetting 2 pieces of 1 square meter of each crown of the tree in areas where it does not get direct sun and trying not to wet the fruits. There are some other problems with insects like scales, mealybugs , which are controlled with some ease.
There are also some fungi like Alternaria, Colletotrichum and Phomopsis that cause damage to the fruit.. These are minimized taking care not to damage the fruits during harvesting and subsequent handling. The birds can also be an important enemy.
Although the plant withstands the wind quite well, it deforms it very easily. To avoid this, in windy areas you must install live barriers (trees) or inert (plastic meshes) that reduce speed and wind damage. It is preferable that this be done before or together with planting to give protection from the start.