Carambola, Averrha carambola, is commonly referred to as star fruit.
The carambola tree is a native of Celon and the Moluccas. Today, it grows in tropical and sub tropical climates.
The tree grows between 20 and 33 feet high. It produces sweet smelling pink, or purplish flowers.
The fruit of the tree is between 2 and 5 inches long, 1 to 2-1/2 inches in diameter, and 3 to 4 oz in weight. It has five prominent ribs, that run the entire length of the fruit. When sliced crosswise, the slices are shaped like a star. The edible skin is waxy, and pale yellow, turning golden when ripe. The edges turn a little brown.
The star fruit has flesh that is crisp and juicy. It contains 2 to 12 flat seeds. The flavor of the star fruit is sweet and slightly acidic, sometimes sour and tart. Once picked, the sugar content will not increase.
The cousin of the carambola is the Bilimbi, A. bilimbe. It is a related species from Malaysia. It has smaller ribs, juicy flesh and 6-7 flat seeds. It is greenish- yellow in color, and is firmer and more acidic than the carambola. The bilimbi is rarely eaten raw.
The carambola is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, oxalic, and tartaric and malic acid.