Starfruit

 
 

Starfruit is probably native to Sri Lanka, its precise origin is uncertain because it has been cultivated for centuries throughout Southeast Asia. It reaches a height of 30 feet, with a trunk 8 inches in diameter. The leaves have a reddish petiole and axis, are up to 10 inches long, and are composed of up to fifteen leaflets, the apical one up to 4  inches long. Flowers are about three-eighths of an inch wide and appear in groups near the base of older leaves. Fruits are up to 5 inches long and have five angles or keels, so that sections cut crosswise resemble stars; there are two main varieties: small, yellowish and very sour; or large, orange, and sweet. It flowers mostly during summer and fruits ripen mainly during autumn. The generic name honors Averrhoes, a 12th century Arab physician. The species name derives from the names caramba and kambola, used in Malaysia for the fruit.


The photographed tree is near the stands of the old athletic field. There are other trees south of the main student parking lot and at the Research and Development Center.

Averrhoa carambola (Oxalidiaceae)