Averrhoa bilimbi L.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Tree Sorrel
Synonym: Averrhoa obtusangula Stokes
Common Name: Bilimbi, Meenpuli
Flowering & Fruiting Period: March - May
Distribution: Native of Malaysia, cultivated in other Tropical countries
Habitat: Cultivated
Uses: The fruit is occasionally eaten raw with salt or sliced thin and added to salads. When ripe it is crunchy, juicy, acidic, and contains few, flattened, non-arillate seeds. A decoction of leaves is used to cure inflammation of the rectum and the paste is applied for mumps, rheumatism and pimples. An infusion of the flowers is used for coughs. The fruit is an astringent, stomachic and refrigerant and its juice is made into syrup as a cooling drink for reducing fever. The fruits are used as mordants in the preparation of an orange dye for silk fabrics. A purple dye from the petals is used as an indicator in chemistry. The wood is used for fuel.
Key Characteristics: Tree, to 15 m tall. Leaves usually terminally tufted. Panicles cauliflorous. Sepals yellowish green to purplish green. Petals dark pink. Stamens all fertile. Ovary ellipsoid. Fruits cylindric.