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Averrhoa carambola L.

Family Name: Oxalidaceae
Synonyms: Averrhoa acutangula Stokes, Sarcotheca philippica (Vilar) Hallier f.
Common Name: Star Fruit, Belimbing Besi, Belimbing Manis, Kembola, Carambola, Caramba, Country Gooseberry, Belimbing Sagi, Kamrak, 杨桃, 阳桃
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Fruit & Vegetable Ornamental Flowers Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Tree is slow-growing, much branched, broad and bushy, with branches usually drooping, able to grow up to about 3 - 5 m tall.
Trunk Bark is light brown, smooth or sometimes finely fissured. 
Foliage Green leaves pinnate, alternate arrangement and measuring about 15 - 25 cm long, each leaf has about 7 - 9 leaflets, sensitive to shock and will close up when the branch is shaken.
Flowers Light purple flowers borne on a panicle inflorescence about 2 - 5 cm long, each flower measuring about 0.6 cm wide, 5-petaled.
Fruits Fruit is an indehiscent berry measuring about 5 - 8 cm long, turns from yellowish-green to orange-yellow when ripen, contains 5 seeds.
Cultivation Prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Grows well on peat but cannot tolerate drought, salinity and flooding, though it have high water requirement.
Etymology Genus Averrhoa is named after Averrhoes (1126 - 1198), a well-known Arabian philosopher and physician and also a translator of Aristotle's work. Species carambola is from the word "karambal" (Marathi language) which also means carambola tree. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : Fresh fruits are used in salads, punch bowls, juice, preserves, jam and jelly.)
Medicinal ( Fruit can be consumed as a laxative. )
Timber & Products ( Wood is used for firewood. The unripe fruit can be processed and be used in dyeing.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting, Caterpillar Moth Food Plant (Leaves)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, [Remarks] (Cannot stand flooding and needs good drainage.)
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Transplanting Tolerance Unknown / Unselect
Maintenance Requirements Unknown / Unselect
Diseases The fruit is subject to fruit fly, fruit moths and fruit spotting bugs in those areas having these infestations.
Propagation Method Grafting, Seed
Propagation Method Remarks Budding


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Pink
Flowering Opening Time Daytime

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Waxy

Image Repository



Master ID 1443
Species ID 2736
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2021.

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