Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Star Fruit
Averrhoa carambola

Family: Oxalidaceae
Genus: Averrhoa (av-er-OH-uh) (Info)
Species: carambola (kah-rahm-BOH-luh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Averrhoa carambola by Floridian

By Floridian
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By IslandJim
Thumbnail #3 of Averrhoa carambola by IslandJim

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #4 of Averrhoa carambola by Thaumaturgist

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Thumbnail #6 of Averrhoa carambola by Thaumaturgist

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There are a total of 29 photos.
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8 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral MamaHahne On Apr 20, 2012, MamaHahne from San Diego, CA wrote:

Help Request-
We live on the Coast in San Diego, and bought a Starfuit tree last week. It's a grafted Kari and about 6 feet tall. It had been growing in a greenhouse. When we got it home, we realized it had aphids. I used soapy water and think they are mostly dead. Now the leaves are yellowing and spotting brown, and about 1/4 of them have already fallen off. I was thinking this was because of shock in the transition from greenhouse to on our deck (very sunny spot)- but I'm not sure. Anyone have any recommendations? Does it need a little fertilizer to help it through this transition? If so, what kind. Any help is appreciated!

Positive Jamsteri On Nov 5, 2011, Jamsteri from Oulu
Finland (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have this plant growing indoors and it really makes a good-looking plant for decoration (You can see it in one of the photos). My plant was grown from a seed which I got from a fruit. Now the plant is four and half years old, about 1 meter (~40 in) tall little tree and is doing really well despite of dry indoors air.

I think that hardest part with this plant was the first winter - My plant dropped almost all leaves and wrinkled the rest so it looked quite bad. But it was still alive and had new growth coming. I think that the reason for this was that dry air combined with winters low light. Well, the plant survived its first winter, got tougher and carried on living.

This plant seems to need a little pruning now and then. Otherwise it likes to grow only upwards and if it does that long enough, it can't hold it's own weight and starts to bend down.

The leaves are sensitive to touch and will fold together if the tree is disturbed. They also fold together in the night.

My plant has never flowered and I guess it won't flower yet - if ever at all. But it would be really cool if it flowered. But even without flowers, this tree has been a real success.

Neutral htop On Jan 26, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Averrhoa carambola is thought to have originated in Ceylon and the Moluccas; however in southeast Asia and Malaysia, it has been cultivated for many centuries. It is commonly grown in Taiwan, India, southern China, the Philippines and Queensland, Australia. It is moderately grown in Tahiti, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Guam and Hawaii. It is a naturalized plant in Puerto Rico.

Positive SW_gardener On Sep 9, 2007, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

I started this plant earlier this year from seed and it has really taken off quite well! A very pretty and airy plant, I'm going to try to overwinter it as a houseplant :) I'm posting a picture of it as well!


Neutral Kell On Dec 18, 2006, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

San Francisco Conservatory of Flower's own description of one of their medicinal fruits:
"Common name: Starfruit
Scientific name: Averrhoa carambola
Family: Oxalidaceae
Part of plant used: Leaves, fruit, seeds.
Documented uses: Borneo, India, Philippines, and Vietnam
Medical action and uses:
Crushed leaves used for chickenpox, ringworm and headache.
The fruit is a laxative, refrigerant, antiscourbic, febrifuge, antidysenteric, and stimulates the appetite.
The fruit is ideal for hypertension, diabetes and as an antiparalyitic, hemostatic, antiemetic, and a diuretic.
An infusion, decoction or tincture of the crushed seeds serves as an emmenagogue, lactagogue, and, in large doses, as an abortifacent.
The seeds are narcotic, emetic. They are powdered as anodyne, useful for the treatment of asthma, colic, and jaundice. It also counters ringworm.
The leaves and flowers are consumed as an antiusive and febrifuge."

Positive cliftonstark On Sep 2, 2006, cliftonstark from Cypress, TX wrote:

We moved into this house last February, a Northwest suburb of Houston, and it had two mature starfruit trees. They produced pretty constantly and today I collected two six inch ripe ones. These guys need to be pruned from the bottom. Can they be propagated by cuttings or even air-layering? I'd hate to waste any thing and we have space for more. Please advise.

Neutral Dinu On Dec 23, 2005, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have no plant of this variety, but grows in some farms owned by others. To my knowledge, this is the season when it grows more and there is one farmer that dehydrates the fruits and sells. It tastes similar to the raisin and has a desirable level of sourness combined with sweetness.

Positive foodiesleuth On Jun 8, 2005, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I have found that there are (at least) two types of carambola trees. One produces sweet fruit and the other type is quite acidic. Fortunately, ours is the sweet variety.
I have used the fruit fresh, sliced or juiced and I have used it for making star shaped preserves.

Positive JUSTME4U On Jun 7, 2005, JUSTME4U from Port Saint Lucie, FL wrote:

my sister started our tree from a seed. everyone told her that it couldn't be done, but our tree is doing well and is only a few months old.

Positive Kameha On Apr 10, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This has beautiful foliage that folds in at night. When the fruit hangs on the tree it adds even more to the tree's beauty. The fruit is delicious. It bears several crops a year. It is also quite hardy for a tropical fruit tree.

Positive Monocromatico On Jul 11, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

The fruit is absolutely delicious and refreshing! We have bought an area to build our house, and theres a Star Fruit tree growing there under the large branches of a big Cashew Tree. We are planning on keeping it. I have already had one from that plant, and it was good. I hope to keep having fruits for many years

Positive IslandJim On Sep 22, 2002, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

The fruit, like no other, has a nice thirst-quenching ability. The tree needs, above all, good drainage. And that means it needs an application of minor elements at least twice a year. Also, grafted varieties produce consistently larger fruit that ripen more evenly. My largest fruit in 2001 weighed in at 21 ounces.

Neutral Floridian On Oct 1, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Carambola grows well in a wide range of soils. It requires adequate moisture throughout the year but does not tolerate waterlogging. Regular fertilizer application is necessary for fruit production. Carambola is non-seasonal and yields 3-5 crops per year. The fruits are harvested between 40-50 days after fruit set, when they are just beginning to turn from dark green to a light yellow-green.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

El Mirage, Arizona
Spring Valley, California
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Holiday, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Marathon, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Ocoee, Florida (2 reports)
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Tampa, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Zolfo Springs, Florida
Hana, Hawaii
Honomu, Hawaii
Lafayette, Louisiana
Cypress, Texas

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