Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a star-shaped tropical fruit with sweet and sour flavor. Carambola is native to the Malayan peninsula and cultivated in many parts of Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands and China for its fruits. Although abundant and plentiful, carambola is yet to gain popularity, especially in the western world.
Star fruit is a small, bushy evergreen tree that grows very well under hot, humid, tropical conditions. The plant bears small lilac colored, bell-shaped flowers in clusters which subsequently develop into oblong shaped fruits with characteristic five angled edges (sides or ribs) that appear like a starfish in cross sections. Both sweet and sour varieties begin to yield under cultivable orchards, and ready for harvesting when the plants reach about 3-4 years old.
Shaped like a star due to the distinctive ridges running down its sides, this crunchy and juicy fruit is also known as carambola. It is packed full of antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C.