Averrhoa bilimbi L.


Averrhoa bilimbi L.





Vernacular Names

Malaysia, Indonesia Belimbing asam, blimbing wuluh, belimbing buluk.
English Bilimbi, cucumber tree.

Taling pling.

Philippines Kamias, iba (Tagalog).
Cambodia Trâlông töng.
Vietnam Khê tau.
French Cornichonier.

Geographical Distributions

Some authors seek the origin in tropical America (Brazil), from where it supposedly was taken to the Philippines. However, most authors support the Southeast Asian origin, for instance because there is a Sanskrit name for carambola. Moreover, the distribution of Averrhoa bilimbi in tropical America can be traced to its introduction from Timor to Jamaica in 1793. A. bilimbi is now grown allover the humid tropics.


Averrhoa bilimbi is sparsely branched tree, branches stiff, thick, upright. The leaves are 7-19-jugate.

The flowers are usually in cauliflorous panicles and heterotristylous. The 10-20 mm long petals are free and red-purple. Stamens are short.

The fruit is slightly lobed, up to 10 cm x 5 cm. The seeds lack aril.

Ecology / Cultivation

Averrhoa bilimbi prefers a climate with a dry season, thriving where teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) is at home but also do well in wetter climates. A. bilimbi grows up to 500 m altitude on Java. This species has a high water requirement, but it needs well-drained soils, pH 5.5-6.5, and grows well on peat. Drought, flooding and salinity are not tolerated. Wind breaks are recommended on exposed sites.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.2: Edible fruits and nuts.