Bilimbi, Cucumber Tree Seeds (Averrhoa bilimbi)
Price for Package of 3 seeds.
Other Names: Bilimbi, Cucumber tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh, Bimbiri
This rare exotic fruit is very popular in Thailand, Malaya and Singapore. In India, where it is usually found in gardens, the bilimbi has gone wild in the warmest regions of the country. Outside native habitat, Bilimbi is hard to find plant, very few growers produce them, although it is not so hard in cultivation.
The bilimbi is closely allied to the carambola but quite different in appearance, manner of fruiting, flavor and uses. The only strictly English names are "cucumber tree" and "tree sorrel". "Bilimbi" is the common name in India and has become widely used. Many people are more familiar with the close ralative - Averrhoa carambola (Star Fruit), which foliage looks very similar to bilimbi. The bilimbi leaves and taste of fruit are quite similar to those of the Phyllanthus acidus (Otaheite gooseberry), although these plants are not related.
The tree is very attractive, reaches 35 ft in in tropical regions, but in subtropical areas usually doesn't grow taller than 15-20 ft, with a short trunk dividing into upright branches. Small, fragrant, yellowish-green or purplish flowers marked with dark-purple, are borne in small, hairy panicles emerging directly from the trunk and oldest, thickest branches and some twigs, as do the clusters of curious fruits resembling small cucumbers that grow on strunk and stems. They average two to three inches in length and the acid pulp is imbedded with small seeds. The fruit's skin is glossy and very thin. If unripe, the fruit is bright green and crispy. It turns yellowish as it ripens. The flesh is green, jelly-like, juicy and extremely acidic.
The bilimbi is a tropical species, more sensitive to cold than the carambola, especially when very young. The tree makes slow growth in shady or semi-shady situations. It should be in full sun.
While the bilimbi does best in rich, moist, but well-drained soil, it grows and fruits quite well on sand or limestone.
Hardy to 32F. Generally not as cold hardy as the star fruit. Sunset Zones: 22-25 USDA: 10a+
These seeds 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.
Seeds is a live product, which depends on many important grower skills such as proper planting time, seed depth, type of soil, watering, and light intensity, proper use of fertilizers, weed controls, fungicides, insecticides, soil conditions, and reasonable weather during the growing period. These factors are totally out of the sellers control, and germination and growing results are the buyer's responsibility and risk. Seller cannot be responsible for buyers growing methods or mistakes.