Bilimbi

 
 

Bilimbi, or cucumber-tree, is apparently native to the Molucca Islands, on the eastern extreme of Indonesia, its precise origin is unknown because it has been cultivated for centuries throughout Southeast Asia. It was introduced to Puerto Rico during the 19th century but has never been widely planted. It reaches a height of 30 feet, with a trunk several inches in diameter that branches close to the ground. The leaves are up to 10 inches long and are composed of up to 37 leaflets. Flowers are about three-eighths of an inch wide and appear in groups directly on the trunk and large branches. Fruits are up to 4 inches long and extremely acid, they are thus consumed in juices, desserts or seasonings. It flowers and produces fruit mostly during spring and summer, but some flowers and fruits can be found throughout the year. The generic name honors Averrhoes, a 12th century Arab physician. The species name derives from its common name in India.


The photographed tree is on the steep hill northwest of the Art Museum and Academic Senate Building. It is the only member of the species in the campus.

Averrhoa bilimbi (Oxalidiaceae)