Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Averrhoa bilimbi - Bilimbi
Edible portion : Fruit, Flowers, Spice
A small evergreen tree up to 7-10 m high. It can spread 3 m across. The stem is erect and short. Leaves are large. Leaves have from 5 to 17 or 34 pairs of leaflets. Leaves are pale green. The leaves are often clustered near the branch tips. Flowers are crimson. They are produced on old branches and the stem. The flowers are in 15 cm long clusters. These then bear clusters of cucumber shaped fruit on the trunk and older branches. Fruit are 8-10 cm long and yellow or green. They are soft and fleshy with a few flat seeds in the centre. Fruit are sour but edible.
A tropical plant. It suits the hot, wet tropical lowlands. The tree is drought resistant. It will grow from sea level up to at least 750 m altitude in the tropics. It prefers well composted, moist soil, in a protected, partly shaded position. It is frost tender. In the Cairns Botanical Gardens. It suits hardiness zones 10-12. At MARDI.