Carambola (aka "Starfruit.)

Longboat Key, FL

I tried this thread on Fruits and Nuts -- but nobody seemed interested; so

I planted this last winter -- and here it is today. Now seven-feet tall.

It came bearing fruit -- they were delicious.

: )


Thumbnail by flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

My variety is: Sri Kembanqan (Kembangan)
Originated in Thailand. Elongated pointed fruit, 5 - 6 inches long. Bright yellow-orange skin and flesh. Juicy, firm flesh with few seeds. Flavor rich and sweet; excellent dessert quality.

There are many fruit already ripening in its branches. Here is a cluster of three.

: )

Thumbnail by flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

A star (fruit) is born. (With apologies to Hollywood).

It is the tiny dull thing, about 1/3 down from the top, and 4/9ths in from the right. (It's now about 3/8ths inch long.)

The tree is continuing sprouting new clusters of blossoms, all over.

If you've never eaten a ripe carambola, you are missing something. The acidic starfruit you find in the markets are a poor example of the fruit.

Try it -- you may like it.

Be well

: )

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Wauchula, FL(Zone 9b)

My DS has a tree nearby about 25 ft tall loaded with fruit & bloom. You are right about the fruit! She has had ripe fruit for about a month now. They come up easily from seed & are fast growing.

South Venice, FL(Zone 9b)

flyboy, beautiful tree! Starfruit are so refreshing, and the trees are nearly indestructible. There was one in my yard when I moved in 16 years ago, didn't even know what the little tree was- it was about 5 feet tall. Imagine my surprise when I bumped into it with the lawn mower and a starfruit fell out. Sadly, several years ago, the water softener system developed a undetected leak and started dumping brine right near the tree. It was too late when I finally figured out what was happening.
Your tree looks really healthy, enjoy!
Cathy

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Very nice! My dad is a mailman and I trade plants with two guys on his route. One of them has a starfruit tree and he just gave us a big bag of the fruits a couple of weeks ago. They are definitely much better than store bought; I couldn't believe how juicy they were. Plus, I'm getting into this local food idea so I think it's nice to be able to trade with neighbors.

Melanie

Davidsonville, MD(Zone 6b)

Very nice Flyboyfl, may I ask where you pruchased it? I see a couple of them on ebay, but am wondering if they are attainable locally...I'm in Brandon/Tampa area in Florida. Also, Rene10 you said they come up easily from seed...is it worth it to start one from seed, or should I just buy an established plant? How long till they fruit from seed may I ask?

I probably should go looking to try some fruit first though as I've never had them before, but by the sounds of all your praises, they sound delicious!

~Samantha

Wauchula, FL(Zone 9b)

I don't know how long from seed to fruit, but my DD planted one last year & it is about 2 1/2 ft tall already.

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

astcgirl, I have the tree and recently posted i would send seeds for sase. I f you would like some let me know. I planted some seeds this summer and have two small trees about 2 1/2 feet tall. I think you would do fine to grow them from seeds. It takes them a while to come up but once they do they grow pretty fast.

Linda

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I would like to try a couple of seeds, Linda. : ) It sounds tasty.
~Lucy

Davidsonville, MD(Zone 6b)

Thank you so much Linda, I would love to try some and considering the growth your trees made in a couple of months it sounds perfect. Dmail coming your way....

Longboat Key, FL

Hey guys:

This may be one of Florida's best kept secrets.

I think that as citrus seems to be losing ground -- the number of acres that have been turned into housing -- (and the high price of juice) -- Florida will start producing other comestibles. I think of this and macadamia nuts.

My tree came from Crowley's, just west of 75 in Sarasota. She (Kathy) has a wealth of plants. This is what it looked like when I planted it.

Does anyone know -- does it have only one crop a year?

Be well

: )

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Longboat Key, FL

And these were some of the fruit last year,before we gobbled them.

: )

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Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Linda -- if more seeds are still available, I would love to give Starfruit a try (gotta' have one of everything!).

In addition to SASE, I may have some seeds you might like -- such as the white flowering form of Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus 'Alba')? At least, I hope they will come out all white. I didn't have any other hibiscus flowering near these when they bloomed.

Jeremy

Lakeland, FL(Zone 10a)

FlyboyFL-They can produce fruits more than once per year. Depending on the variety, climate, culture, etc, they can produce twice, sometimes even three times/year in Fl.

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Flyboy I have a tree that is about 25 ft tall and it bears at least twice a year. I have had fruit on mine since late Sept. and will have until February . I have more fruit than i know what to do with.

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

JaxFL I have seeds and will be happy to send you some if you will Dmail your address i will trust you for stamps. I can't grow hibiscus the deer will not leave them alone.

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Lucy you can have seeds anytime i will have them from now until February. We have to make arrangements to get together. Maybe the end of this week if you don't have anything going on. I will be in Tampa Tues & Wed.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

How about Fri.? I have a test on Tues., DD is coming on Weds, and a friend will be here on Thurs. If that is o.k....which do you prefer, morning or afternoon?
~Lucy

Longboat Key, FL

popper~ and lee~

Thanks. Now I'll have to wait. Mine seems to be just starting -- and continuing -- to bloom. Guess I'll have to enlist more eaters.

Be well

: )

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Lucy Friday sounds good to me and i prefer afternoon unfortunately i am not good at doing mornings :}. We just as well finish filling up our week.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

Linda, Ok, I will call you Thurs between 6-7 pm or whenever I can get you, and let you know what time Fri. afternoon.
~Lucy

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Once in awhile I come across a specialty food market that will sell these fruits. Never knew what they were. Now I do.

How do ya eat em? Think that the trouble when ya see new things in the market, ya don't know how to eat them, then when ya finally find out and make it back to where ya saw them sold, they all gone.

Longboat Key, FL

star~

See the photos I posted, above (on November 4th.).

They should be entirely yellow -- and soft and smooth to the touch. (The edges can be brownish.) Eat them like you would an apple -- or slice them up into a salad.

The skin is entirely edible.

Good luck, welcome, and

Be well

: )

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Starlight, as flyboy indicated they are entirely edible however, when I eat them I do cut the ridges off. Sometimes I eat the skin and sometimes i peel them. They are 100% better if they are tree ripened.

They are very expensive to buy. When they have them in the stores here they are $l.99 each. They are very good but I don't now if they are that good :}.

They do have a flavor all their own. You either like them or you don't. I have 4 sisters and 3 loves them and 1 doesn't care for them at all.

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Lucy that sounds great we will probably be woring outdoors anyway and I will sure welcome a break!!! lol

Longboat Key, FL

But, why think about buying them if you garden and live down here?

: )

Coral Springs, FL

In case you have more starfruit than you can use - here's a muffin recipe that someone made for a garden club function last year. I loved them!

Starfruit muffins

Ingredients
1 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped starfruit (carambola)
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
12 slices starfruit
Confectioners sugar to dust on top
12 muffin cup papers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with beater until fluffy. Add molasses and eggs; beat until well blended.

In medium bowl, combine flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chopped starfruit, coconut, and orange peel.

Divide batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Top each cup with one starfruit slice. Bake muffins 20 to 25 minutes or until they're golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly. Cool on rack 5 minutes; remove from pan and dust lightly with confectioners sugar.

Coral Springs, FL

My tree is only about 6 feet tall but has gifted us with about 8 starfruit already. Right now it's covered with flowers - looks like I'll need a bunch of recipes! I wonder if you could bake them in a pie - kinda like an apple pie. Seems like it would be really pretty if you left the slices in stars.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the info. Can't wait til I see one again in the store. Gonna buy me a couple. To me, that don't seem to bad a price. Been payign almost bucks for a cantelope which I can devor in a matter of minutes all by myself. : )

Is there another fruit , say a common fruit that you can tell me what it might be simliar in taste too?

A bit off track, but doe s the Pineaple Guava Feijoa Acca sellowiania grow down there in Flordia? If it does how do you know when the fruit is ready. There a big bush I know of and it has fruit on it, but I don't know when to pick it and never had it either, thinking I heard somebody say it was edible and thought it was a tree and fruit that need the warmer climates ya all have down there.



Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

We have Pineapple Guava at the Jacksonville Zoo and I also have one shrub of it at home. I don't know how to tell when the fruit might be ripe because we seldom get fruit. I suppose a squeeze or taste test would be about the only way, unless the fruit goes through a color change when ripe.

BTW - the Pineapple Guava flower petals are delicious! Eat them as a snack fresh off the plant or add to a salad.

Jeremy

Longboat Key, FL

star~

I don't know whether I can describe the taste.

It is, to me, something like a ripe Bartlett pear. Not overly sweet or perfumey. But, I (we) enjoy biting into them or cutting them into salads.

Be well

: )

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

StarligIiht, If i were trying to make a comparison from my tree I would say the really ripe ones taste a little like a mango, however, if not real ripe i can't compare mine to any type fruit. I use mine in smoothie a lot and often slice them and eat them with a little salt on them.

They are just a very different fruit.

Linda

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Boca, thanks so very much for sharing that recipe you can bet i will be trying it.

I have made jam with them but it was a little to sweet. I am going to try making some relish with some of the greener fruit.

Linda

Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I have been having trouble posting images so thought i would try posting one of my starfruit to see if i can.

Thumbnail by LeePerk
Zolfo Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

YEAH!!!!!! I am so happy this is the first picture i have been able to post. I have the new windows vista and i really dislike it. It is taking me forever to figure some of it out.

South Venice, FL(Zone 9b)

Beautiful starfruit! They look luscious.
I am putting off the Vista nightmare as long as I can! Are there any things you like about the new Vista?
Cathy

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I also have Vista and hate it, can't wait until Thanksgiving when we are going to Ky and my son will remove it and give me XP. I will then be able to use my camera with the laptop. I am sixty four and don't need constant reminders, proddings, annoyances about my being authorized to do something or make a minor change. Too, too much. They went overboard with the security (cma) features.

I had a wonderful recipe for quickbread made with carambola fruit. I will try to find it today and if I can I will post. It was delicious, had a delicate pineapple flavor, but no pineapple in the recipe..

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Carambola Quick Bread 350 degrees one hour 9 x 5 x 2 1/2" pan

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 beaten eggs
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pureed carambolas (seeds only removed) 2 cups
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream sugars and butter until fluffy, add eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda. Mix together and put in greased loaf pan. Enjoy.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Ya know ya all are making me hungry. LOL A piece of that quick bread would go good with my cup of coffee right now. How about whipping up a piece and tossing it this way. : )

Beautiful pic of the fruit. Wonder if I can get one to grow here ??? May give it a try. I have three Kumquat seedlings that I had found when they was barely a coupel inches tall and brought them home and they about a foot tall now from this season. Put them in the unheated gh so hopefully they won't freeze too bad. Got a feeling I will be waiting 20 years before it fruits though at the rate it is growing.

Flyboy... who did you buy your tre e from? Think I may see who got one for sale and get one with a bit of height on it. Pretty tre e even without the fruit.



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