The botanical name is Averrhoa carambola however this is simply shortened to Carambola or Carambolas, and commonly simply, ‘Star Fruit’..
Grown mainly for its fruit it seems like a new addition to the home garden. However it has been in cultivation outside its natural habitat since the late 1800s.
Commonly called Star Fruit or Five Cornered Fruit. This is a very ornamental evergreen tree. From South East Asia, this is a tropical to sub tropical tree.
Like many tropical trees Carambola or ’Star Fruit’ requires a humus rich moist yet well drained soil for good growth and fruit production.
In good conditions Carambola or ’Star Fruit Tree’ will produce more than one crop each year.
The fruit itself has a wide range of uses including : picked and used as a fresh fruit. Also for making jams, chutneys, preserves, cooking, drying, and for making drinks.
You may wonder why this fruit is not more readily available and can be expensive.
The problem is that it does not ripen well off the tree. Fruit needs to have turned to yellow before harvesting. The enthusiasts ensure us that the fruit that falls to the ground is the sweetest and the best for eating.
How to Grow Star Fruit Trees
You will need at least a sub tropical climate to grow Carambola trees easily. The grafted varieties are the best in terms of fruit production and a number are available from good nurseries.
- Warm sheltered position.
- Humus rich moist yet well drained soil.
- Good applications of fertiliser when the tree is young will improve the growth rate.
- Protect from frost and winds when young.
- Mulch around trees to help maintain moisture and a cool root run.
- Keep mulch away from the collar of the tree itself to prevent rot.
- Prune light;y for the first 3 – 4 years to encourage a bushy productive growth habit.
Averrhoa carambola varieties
- Fwang tung – Large sweet fruit.
- Maha – Slightly rounded fruit, sweet with low acidity. Can be picked a little earlier than some others.
- Kembangan – Sweet, juicy and almost seedless.
- Giant Siam – Large sweet fruit.
- Thai Night – Sweet medium sized fruit.
- Arkin – Popular as is is easier to transport than others, medium sweetness.
- Star King – Produces a tart fruit.
- B17 Honey Sweet
Description and Fact Finder
- Height – To 10m usually shorter in cultivation.
- Spread – To around 7m Position –
- Full sun to a little light shade.
- Soil – Humus rich well drained.
- Growth rate – Medium, depending on soil and climate.
- Foliage – Attractive mid green.
- Flowers – Small pink to red
- Flowering period – Year round in good climates.
- Fruiting period – Main crop in summer, however year round.
- Fruit – Green star shaped ripening to yellow, some varieties ripening to white or orange.
- Frost tolerant – No.
- Drought tolerant – No.
- Container growing – Possible however not recommended
You can find Carambola Trees for sale at the following nurseries.
- Ross Creek Tropicals
- Fruitopia Nursery
- Fruit Cottage
473 Miles Platting Rd Rochedale Brisbane 4123
Specializing in fruit trees, including apple trees, citrus, avocado, mango, olive, macadamia, lychee, pawpaw and others. Also herbs and edibles.