Averrhoa carambola

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Averrhoa carambola

Description

Tree, up to 14 m by 30 cm. Leaves 3-6-jugate, not crowded terminally; Flowers heterodistylous (LF, MF), said to be scentless, melliferous. Sepals up to 4 by 2 mm, bright red, yellowish brown with pale margins when dry, obovate-oblong to triangular, acute to obliquely emarginate, sub glabrous. Petals up to 8 by 2 mm, obovate to lanceolate, coherent, claw c. 1½ mm, glabrous, but inside with minute septate-glandular hairs. Shorter stamens ananthiferous, filaments subulate with often swollen base, up to 1¾ mm, longer ones in LF up to 3 mm, in MF up to 4½ mm. Panicles axillary, rarely ramiflorous, 1-few together, ascending, up to 7 cm long. Ovary elliptic, up to 2½ mm long, appressed-puberulous, mainly on the ribs; Fruit up to 12½ by 6 cm, ovoid to ellipsoid, stellate in ø, lobed at both ends, apically with minute rimae on the ribs. Seeds up to 10, 12 by 5 mm;

Distribution

Central and East Java present
Native country unknown, possibly Central and East Java, but escaping freely, often a relict of former cultivation.

Dispersal

Fruits eaten by bats, mice and Calotes spp. (Agamidae). Cf. NINGRAT (1892).

Uses

The fruit is eaten fresh or pickled. Leaves and fruits are said to be good against fevers, aphtha, angina, chickenpox, ringworm, headaches, scurvy, dysentery, piles and affections of skin and eyes; they excite the appetite, but may cause vomiting. It is antiphlogistic and a sialogogue. The fruit removes stains from laundry, hands and weapons. See NINGRAT (1893), KOORDERS & VA-LETON (1903), HEYNE (1927), OCHSE (1931), BURKILL (1935), and QUISUMBING (1951).

Phytochemo

DE PERALTA () has shown the presence of HCN in leaves, roots and stems; BATE-SMITH () the presence of cyanidin, p-cumaric acid and traces of sinapic acid, and () tannin, leuco-anthocyanin and leucocyanidin.

Citation

TRIMEN - in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 1887: 129
BACK., Fl. Bat. 1907: 229
MERR., Sp. Blanc. 1918: 194
BURK., Dict. 1935: 271
BACK. & BAKH.f. - in Fl. Java. 1963: 247
RIDL. - in Fl. Mal. Pen. 1922: 332
BLANCO, Fl. Filip. 1837: 391
OCHSE & BAKH., Vrucht. 1931: tab. col.
PROGEL - in Fl. Bras. 1877: 520
VELDK. - in Fl. Thail. 1970: 21
KOORD. - in Atlas. 1918: 603
DC. - in Prod. 1824: 689
HEYNE, Nutt. Pl. 1927: 853
Quis., Med. Pl. Philip. 1951: 439
EDGEW. & HOOK.f. - in Fl. Br. Ind. 1874: 439
KNUTH - in Pfl. R. 1930: 417
Bl., Bijdr. 1825: 242
CAV. - in Diss. 1789: f. 220
MIQ. - in Fl. Ind. Bat. 1859: 133
W. & A., Prod. 1834: 141
NINGRAT - in Teysmannia. 1892: 754
K. & V. - in Bijdr. 1903: 106