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  Averrhoa bilimbi L.
  Family Name : Oxalidaceae

  Common Names : Bilimbi, Belimbing Besi, Cucumber Tree, Belimbing, Belimbing Buloh

  Chinese Name : 木胡瓜

 
Bilimbi,Belimbing Besi,Cucumber Tree,Belimbing,Belimbing Buloh
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
      True
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Small (6m-15m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Perennial
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Autotrophic
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Moluccas, Indonesia, Malaysia
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Small tree, able to grow up to about 5 - 10 m tall.
      Trunk: Short trunk which branches out into a number of upright branches.
      Foliage: Green leaves, alternate arrangement and usually clustered at the branch tips, measuring about 30 - 60 cm long, each leaf has about 11 - 37 ovate to oblong leaflets measuring about 2 - 10 cm long and 1.2 cm wide.
      Flowers: Small purplish-red flowers borne in a pendulous panicle inflorescence, 5-petaled and fragrant, each inflorescence has about 60 flowers.
      Fruits: Fruit is ellipsoid to obovoid in shape, turns from light green to yellowish-green when ripen, measuring about 4 - 10 cm long. 
      [Others]: Averhhoa bilimbi is closely allied to the Averhhoa carambola (Starfruit), they share some of the same names despite being very different fruits.
      Etymology :
      Genus Averrhoa is named after Averrhoes (1126 - 1198), a well-known Arabian philosopher and physician and also a translator of Aristotle's work. Species bilimbi means cucumber tree.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: The fruit is too acid for eating raw but the green uncooked fruits are prepared as relish in Suriname.; Herb & Spice)
      Medicinal (In Malaysia, the leaves are used to treat itch and cough, and together with fruits, to treat syphilis. In Indonesia, the leaves are applied to boils and used to treat rheumatism, fever, diabetes and whooping cough. In the Philippines, the leaves are applied as a paste on itches, swellings of mumps and skin eruptions.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Bird-Attracting, Caterpillar Food Plant
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Propagation Method :
      Seed
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Evergreen
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Green
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Alternate
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower Colour(s) :
      Red
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Axillary, Cauliflorous
      Inflorescence Type :
      Panicle
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Green
      Mature Seed Colour(s) :
      Brown
      Mature Seed Texture(s) :
      Smooth
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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