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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Bilimbi or Averrhoa bilimbi

Bilimbi or Averrhoa bilimbi, originated to Moluccas, Indonesia, the species are now cultivated and found throughout the South East Asia region like Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia. It is also common in other Southeast Asian countries. In India, where it is usually found in gardens, the bilimbi has gone wild in the warmest regions of the country.

Outside of Asia, the tree is cultivated in Zanzibar. In 1793, the bilimbi was introduced to Jamaica from Timor and after several years, was cultivated throughout Central and South America where it is known as mimbro. Introduced to Queensland at the end of the 19th century, it has been grown commercially in the region since that time.

Characteristic of the tree:

Small tree, reaching 10 m tall with a trunk that is not so big and has a diameter only about 30 cm. Trunk bumpy and uneven. Bilimbi has a bumpy rough trunk , branching slightly , leaning over him . Young branches velvety smooth haired , light brown color . Bilimbi rods contain saponins , tannins , glucoside , calcium oxalate , sulfur , formic acid .

Bilimbi leaves are compound leaves along 30-60 cm with 11-45 pairs of leaflets. The leaves are green, short-stemmed, oval to oblong with a rather pointy tip, base rounded, flat leaf edge, length 2-10 cm, width 1-3 cm. Bilimbi leaves contain tannins , sulfur , formic acid and peroxide .

Flowering is in the form of malai, a group, out of the trunk or large branches, flower-shaped reddish purple color. The fruit Buni, faceted oval shape, 4 to 6.5 ern long, yellowish green color, when ripe juicy, sour taste. Seeds ovoid shape, flattened. Taste sour fruit, used as a refresher syrup, flavoring dishes, clean the stains on cloth, polish items made of brass, cleaning dirty hands or as a traditional medicine. Propagation by seed and transplants. 

Planted as a fruit tree, sometimes growing wild and are found from the lowlands to 500 m above sea level.

Nutritional value for 100 g of edible portion : 
Moisture 94.2-94.7 g, Protein 0.61 g, Ash 0.31-0.40 g, Fiber 0.6g, Phosphorus 11.1 mg, Calcium 3.4 mg, Iron 1.01 mg, Thiamine 0.010 mg, Riboflavin 0.026 mg, Carotene 0.035 mg, Ascorbic Acid 15.5 mg, Niacin 0.302 mg.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  • Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  • Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  • Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
  • Sub Class: Rosidae
  • Order: Geraniales
  • Family: Oxalidaceae (rate-belimbingan starfruit)
  • Genus: Averrhoa
  • Species: Averrhoa bilimbi