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rare plants - fragrant flowers - exotic fruit

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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 Averrhoa bilimbi
Family: Oxalidaceae
Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh
Origin: Moluccas
Big tree > 20 ftSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunRegular waterEdible

It is very common in Thailand, Malaya and Singapore. The bilimbi is closely allied to the carambola but quite different in appearance, manner of fruiting, flavor and uses. The only strictly English names are "cucumber tree" and "tree sorrel". "Bilimbi" is the common name in India and has become widely used. The tree is attractive, reaches 35 ft in height. Small, fragrant, yellowish-green or purplish flowers marked with dark-purple, are borne in small, hairy panicles emerging directly from the trunk and oldest, thickest branches and some twigs, as do the clusters of curious fruits resembling small cucumbers that grow on strunk and stems. The bilimbi is generally regarded as too acid for eating raw, but in some places, the green, uncooked fruits are prepared as a relish. Ripe fruits are frequently added to curries in the Far East or used in place of mango to make chutney. The fruit juice is popular for making cooling beverages on the order of lemonade. To reduce acidity, it may be first pricked and soaked in water overnight and boiled with sugar to make a jam or an acid jelly. Half-ripe fruits are salted, set out in the sun, and pickled in brine and can be thus kept for 3 months. A quicker pickle is made by putting the fruits and salt into boiling water. This product can be kept only 4 to 5 days. The flowers are sometimes preserved with sugar. Read more about this fruit tree.


Similar plants:

 Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Photo by Eric La Brum
Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh

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zaq
Singapore
USDA Zone:war
21 Jun 2008
this tree is easily grow from seed from the very ripe fruit .
Ritzie
Orlando, Florida USA
USDA Zone:9
22 Jan 2008
I used to make sweet preserves out of bilimbi. I prick the fruits all around with a fork and try to squeeze as much juice with my gloved hand as I can without destroying the form of the fruit. I would then prepare a mixture of about 4 tablespoons of baking soda to one half gallon of water and would then soak the squeezed fruit overnight in this mixture. This step is important as it will neutralize the acidity of the fruit. The fruits are then rinsed in fresh water and squeezed again. Prepare syrup as you would when preparing preserves and cook the fruits in the syrup for a few minutes. I find the if you don't squeeze the water enough out of the fruit you will have a final product that has a watery syrup base as the water in the fruit dilutes the syrup that you have prepared. The resulting product is a sweet preserve devoid of any trace of acidity. you might have to prepare several batches and tweak the proportions until you get a product that suits you.
Georgie
New Orleans, LA USA
11 May 2006
I am from the Seychelles Islands, and this tree is definetely called the bilimbi. We use it a lot when cooking (special dishes)
Also we do love to eat it with salt as well.
It grows wild all over the islands.
Faerie
USA, Philippines
25 Oct 2005
Yes, this fruit and tree is called KAMIAS in the Philippines. Balimbing or Balimbi is the Starfruit (its relative)...
This is a very sour fruit... i like dipping it in salt and then eating it raw...
Also the ripe fruits that fall to the ground has its bleaching properties (just like other acids)... My grandmother use it while washing white laundry and it bleaches it great in an inexpensive and organic manner. Just squeeze it in with the white laundry (as ripe fruit is soft). It also provided a very fresh and clean scent... When we were kids, we also like chewing on the sour flowers and having fun with our purple spit...
ludette
Philippines
7 Apr 2004
I would like to correct the name of this plant...It is called KAMIAS.


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