Common name: Cucumber tree, Tree sorrel
Plant Classification: Half hardy tree Greenhouse perennial
Minimum Height: 4.5 meters
Maximum Height: 9.0 meters
Packet Content(approx.): 6
Clusters of beautiful, deepest blood-red flowers bloom from the trunk, often in great number toward the bottom of the tree. These are followed by impressive clumps of attractive, slightly multi-lobed, oblong fruits, which have a pale green waxy skin, and crunchy flesh, very similar to the star fruit, a single tree often producing hundreds and hundreds of fruits. This is essentially a tropical tree, less resistant to cold than the carambola, in Florida, where it is an occasional curiosity, it prefers protection from wind and cold. It has countless other uses, including being used either curried, or added as a souring agent for the common Filipino dish sinigang. The uncooked bilimbi is often prepared as relish, and served with rice and beans in Costa Rica. In the Far East where it originated, it is occasionally added to curry. The juice is also made into a cooling beverage, and in Indonesia it is added to some dishes as a substitute for tamarind or tomato. Additionally, the fruit can be preserved by pickling,which reduces its acidity, and finally the flowers can also be preserved in sugar. Some fruit!
Sowing advice: These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and should be sown into a well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered thinly with sand or grit and kept moist. Keep at between 20-25 degrees C. Seeds sometimes germinate within 4 to 6 weeks although some varieties may take very much longer so please be patient. Plant out in the open ground in warmer countries or in a large container elsewhere.
This is essentially a tropical tree