Cucumber tree (bilimbi)

Cucumber tree - a rare, but easy to grow exotic culture. Its other name is the sorrel tree, or Averhoa bilimbi, the family of sour. A close relative of the plant is the aero-carambola.

274 Cucumber Tree (Bilimbi)

Cucumber tree Bilimbi


The region of natural growth is tropics and subtropics. The species is popular and widely distributed in India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Zanzibar.

In 1793, Averhobilimbi was first brought to Jamaica from Timor and the Moluccas, which are considered its homeland, then for several years it was imported into Central and South America under the name Mimbro. At the end of the 19th century, commercial cultivation began in Queensland. Today, cucumber plantations are found in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Trinidad, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Nicaragua, Guyana, Suriname, Hawaii, and South Florida.

Plant characteristic

Appearance and structure

This is a deciduous deciduous tree. In the subtropics, the height of the cucumber tree usually does not exceed 10-15 m, in the tropics it reaches 35 m. In the greenhouse, the height of the plant is on average 4-5 m.

Small, fragrant, fragrant yellowish-green or purple with dark purple markings flowers are collected in small panicles-inflorescences. Peduncles grow straight from the trunk. The flower consists of 5 petals.

The leaves are complex, 30-60 cm long, formed by 11-37 opposite leaflets, 2-10 cm long each.

Fruits are ribbed, 5-8 cm long, shaped like cucumbers, gathered in brushes, like a banana. The flesh is very sour, jelly-like, with small seeds, crispy in its immature form, bright green, yellow when ripe. The peel is glossy, very thin and delicate.

Within each fruit are 6-7 round flat brown seeds with a diameter of about 6 mm.

Growth features

Young seedlings are sensitive to cold and wind, the temperature for growing should not be below 30 ° C. Grown up instances over time become more enduring.

Cucumber tree grows well on rich drained soils in areas with regular rainfall throughout the year, so in places with seasonal rainfall almost never occurs.

Propagation occurs mainly with seeds, however, Wester successfully propagated the seedlings with air layouts of 3.8–5 cm in length.

The shelf life of the crop of cucumber does not exceed 5 days.

Cooking Application

Sort found use in kitchens of different countries:

  • In Costa Rica, a sauce made from fresh fruit is used as a spice to rice and beans, and sometimes to fish and meat.
  • In India, ripe fruit is added to curry instead of mango in chutney, often mixed with sweet tamarind. In the regions of Kerala and Goa, they make fish sauce with the addition of salt and spices.
  • In Indonesia, Bilimbi is consumed dried, such a dessert is called Asam Sunti.
  • Malaysia has traditionally made sweet jam.
  • In the Seychelles cooked sauce served to shark meat.

274 Cucumber Tree (Bilimbi)

Fruits make lemonade

Bilimbi contains a large amount of vitamin C, fresh juice is used to make lemonade. To reduce the acid, before cooking, the fruits are soaked overnight in water and then boiled with sugar. Depending on the proportion is obtained jam or jelly.

Sugar is made from the flowers with sugar. Half-ripe exotic cucumbers are salted and pickled. The finished product is stored for 3 months. Rapid salting is carried out in boiling brine.

Application in traditional medicine

  • Filipinos use a paste from the leaves of Bilimbi for itching, edema, skin rashes, with rheumatism.
  • Indians - from the bites of poisonous insects. Infusion of the leaves drink as a tonic. A decoction of flowers is effective for thrush and sore throat.
  • Malaysian sap plants are used as eye drops.

Preparations of plant materials in the form of decoctions, tinctures, powder or paste used to be used in traditional medicine for the prevention and treatment of scurvy, rectal inflammation, obesity and dermatosis.

Juice, containing a large amount of oxalic acid, whitens fabrics well, cleans rust stains.

The pulp contains a number of useful substances:

  • oxalic acid,
  • vitamin C,
  • carbohydrates
  • squirrels,
  • amino acids
  • tannins,
  • essential oils,
  • flavonoids.

Leaves found:

  • tannins,
  • alkaloids
  • flavonoids,
  • saponins,
  • cardiac glycosides
  • carbohydrates
  • phenols.

Oxalic acid stimulates the muscles and nervous system, has antibacterial properties. In large quantities can cause the development of urolithiasis.

Tannins are natural sorbents that remove carcinogenic substances from the body.

Essential oils restore the water-salt balance, provide the body with useful minerals and vitamins.

Flavonoids affect the work of enzymes in the nervous and circulatory systems.

Saponins are used in the preparation of tonic, expectorant and sedative drugs.

Cardiac glycosides maintain normal heart function.

Phenols have a disinfecting effect on the respiratory tract and urinary-genital system.

Alkaloids have a tonic and analgesic effect, positively affect the nervous system.

The Institute of Nicaragua has scientifically proven antimicrobial effective action of leaf extract on the dangerous bacteria Bacillus cereus, Bacillus megaterium, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aspergillus ochraceous and Cryptococcus neoformans.

Averro Bilimbi cucumber tree Cucumber tree. Warm beds, organic farming. Cucumber tree grew A verro Bilimbi, fruits in the vegetation stage


The Bilimbi Cucumber Tree is an exotic ornamental leaf plant, a useful plant material for making delicious desserts and sauces.

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