(1) A small tree whose fruit has five longitudinal, angular lobes, similar to carambola, its close relative in Oxalidaceae family of Magnoliopsida.
(2) The edible, fleshy fruit of this plant, which is green when unripe and turns yellowish as it ripens.
The tree is usually small, about 5 to 10 m in height. Its leaves are similar to those of the Otaheite gooseberry. The flowers are tiny, yellowish or purplish, and in panicles, which directly emerge from the trunk and the oldest, most solid branches. The fruit is five-sided but in a less marked way than the carambola. The flesh of the fruit is juicy and highly acidic. A sweet variety is found in the Philippines where the fruit is eaten raw, or cooked as flavoring for the common Filipino dish (e.g. pinangat). Its leaves are also made as a paste for treating itches, swelling, rheumatism, and mumps.
Scientific name: Averrhoa bilimbi
Other common names:
- cucumber tree
- tree sorrel
See also: carambola