Averrhoa bilimbi

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Averrhoa bilimbi

Description

Shrub or tree, up to 15 m, 30 cm ø. Leaves 7-19-jugate, usually terminally tufted; Flowers heterotristylous, usually MF. Sepals 3-8 by 1½-3 mm, yellowish red to purplish, sparsely appressed-puberulous outside mainly at base, inside glabrous or subglabrous, elliptic to lanceolate or spathulate, acute to rounded. Petals free, 10-20 by 3-4 mm, lanceolate-spathulate, inside glabrous, claw 3-6 mm. Stamens all fertile, in SF 3½-4 and 7 mm, in MF 2-5 and 9-12 mm, in LF 5 and 7½ mm, bases not thickened. Panicles cauliflorous on tubercles, nearly down to ground-level, fasciculate and pendulous up to 20 cm, rarely axillary, solitary and erect. Ovary densely appressed pale strigose and with short, septate-glandular hairs, in SF 2-2½ by 1 mm, in MF 3-4 by 1-1½ mm, in LF 4 by 1 mm, elliptic; Fruit terete-obtusangular, up to 10 by 5 cm, elliptic to obovate, obtuse, rimae present (?), base tapering. Seeds up to 14, 6-7 by 4-6 mm, exarillate;

Distribution

East Malesia present
Native country unknown, widely cultivated, escaping freely, often a relict of former cultivation, for instance in East Malesia.

Uses

In the Malay Peninsula the leaves are used as a paste against itches, eaten against syphilis and a decoction is drunk after childbirth. In Java the leaves are used against mumps, rheumatism and pimples, against piles; a decoction of the flowers is used against cough and thrush. The fruit juice is generally used against fevers, scurvy, beri-beri, biliousness, coughs and piles; it also removes stains from laundry, hands and weapons. See KOORDERS & VALETON (1903), HEYNE (1927), OCHSE & BAKHUIZEN (1931), BURKILL (1935), and QUISUMBING (1951). Fruits and flowers are edible but more acid than those of A. carambola.

Citation

ENDL., Gen. Pl. 1839: 1173
LINNÉ, En. Born. 1921: 311
HEYNE, Nutt. Pl. 1927: 852
EDGEW. & HOOK.f. - in Fl. Br. Ind. 1874: 439
CAV. - in Diss. 1789: f. 219
BLANCO, Fl. Filip. 1837: 391
BURK., Dict. 1935: 270
MIQ. - in Fl. Ind. Bat. 1859: 139
BACK. & BAKH.f. - in Fl. Java. 1963: 247
PROGEL - in Fl. Bras. 1877: 520
DC. - in Prod. 1824: 689
OCHSE & BAKH., Ind. Groenten. 1931: 546
QUIS., Med. Pl. Philip. 1951: 438
ROXB. - in Fl. Ind., ed. Carey. 1832: 451
RIDL. - in Fl. Mal. Pen. 1922: 331
TRIMEN - in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 1887: 129
MERR., Sp. Blanc. 1918: 195
K. & V. - in Bijdr. 1903: 111
KOORD. - in Atlas. 1918: 601, 602
SORGDRAGER - in Pharm. Tijd. 1941: repr. 4 pp.
BENTHALL, Trees of Calcutta. 1933: 70
W. & A., Prod. 1834: 142
VELDK. - in Fl. Thail. 1970: 22
KNUTH - in Pfl. R. 1930: 418