Starfruit trees (Averrhoa carambola) are very attractive, with curving branches and large masses of lilac-purple blossoms that attract pollinators. They are grown for their ornamental value as well as their star-shaped fruits.
The mature fruits are about 5 to 7 inches long and turn from bright olive-green to warm bright yellow when fully ripe. The skin is shiny and can be left on the fruit when eaten. The fruits seem to combine the flavors of several other fruits including kiwi, pineapple, berries, and grapes. The fruit is juicy with a consistency like firm green grapes and is used throughout Southeast Asia in dishes and beverages.
Growing up to 30 feet tall, starfruit trees are covered with glossy leaves in summer followed by pendulous fruits. There are two main types of starfruit grown commercially: the smaller sour fruits (including ‘Golden Star,’ ‘Star King, and ‘Newcomb,” all grown in Florida), and the larger sweet ones (‘Arkin,’ ‘Maha’ and ‘Dmak’ grown in Florida, Malaysia, and Indonesia respectively). As a soluble calcium oxalate plant, the fruit is toxic to dogs and cats