Starfruit Facts

Starfruit Facts
Starfruit, also known as carambola, is an evergreen tree that belongs to the wood sorrel family. It originates from Sri Lanka and the Moluccas Islands, but it can be found in tropical and subtropical areas around the world today. Starfruit grows in hot, frost-free areas, on fertile, slightly acidic loamy soil, exposed to direct sunlight. People cultivate starfruit as a source of food and in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Starfruit Facts:
Starfruit has short trunk and bushy, roundish crown. It can reach 25 to 30 feet in height and 20 to 25 feet in width.
Starfruit has compound leaves composed of 5 to 11 nearly opposite pairs of ovate to oblong leaflets. Leaves are green colored and covered with whitish hairs on the bottom side. They are alternately arranged on the branches.
Starfruit folds its leaves during the night and as response to the vibration of the tree.
Starfruit produces small, bell-shaped flowers arranged in clusters that grow from the axils of leaves. Flowers are lilac colored. They contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Starfruit blooms all year round. Flowers attract bees, which are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Starfruit produces oblong fruit with 5 deep ridges. It looks like a star on the cross-section, hence the name "starfruit". Fruit is light green or yellow colored and covered with smooth, waxy skin on the surface. It has crispy, juicy pulp and 10 to 12 light brown edible seed.
Starfruit starts to produce fruit 3 to 4 years after planting. Mature tree can produce 200 to 400 pounds of fruit per year.
Starfruit propagates via seed and grafting.
Starfruit is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins C, B2, B6 and B9 and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, zinc and iron. 100g of fruit contain only 31 calories.
Entire fruit is edible. It has texture like grapes. Taste resembles a blend of pineapple, plum and lemon. There are two varieties of starfruit: sweet and tart. Tart variety is used as garnish and for the preparation of stews, curries, dishes made of poultry, fish and seafood. Sweet variety can be consumed fresh or it can be used for the preparation of juices, cocktails, jams and sweet desserts.
Fruit and juice of starfruit facilitate elimination of excess water from the body. They are also used in treatment of cough, jaundice, constipation and bacterial infections. Leaves and root are used in treatment of chickenpox, headache and ringworms.
Starfruit contains substances which can prevent development of cardiovascular disorders and certain types of cancer.
People diagnosed with renal disorders should avoid starfruit because it contains oxalic acid which facilitates formation of kidney stones.
Starfruit inhibits activity of CYP3A4 enzyme which is responsible for metabolism of 50% of all medicines. That's why starfruit should be avoided during therapy.
Starfruit is perennial plant that can survive around 40 years in the wild.

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