Why did the horticulturist go to the store?

To buy fruit to cut up and try and propagate!  Which is what I did today.  I got a carambola (star fruit, Averrhoa carambola).  I don’t actually care much for the fruit (which wikipedia claims is hard to describe.  I can describe it for ya.  Sour watery apple with a hint of plastic.  Not that good).  I do however think that the plant is very pretty and quite worth growing.  They’re a member of the Oxalidaceae family, much like shamrock (which coincidentally enough tastes just like star fruit.  I’m guessing the taste I don’t like is oxalic acid which is found in most plants in this family).  Perhaps if I remember I’ll take some pictures of the flowers at work so you can see how they really do look like shamrock flowers growing on a tree.
ANYWAYS!  Now to talk about the actual task at hand.  For those of you who have never seen a star fruit:

Isn’t she lovely?  The brown edges are normal, it seems the moment they go from green to yellow the edges turn brown.

They’re not really stable when placed on their end so I had to prop it up against a pummelo (one of my favorite fruits!  It’s like a sweet grapefruit.  And they’re GIANT.  I’ll have to do a post about them when I eat it.  I know you all can’t wait for that).  Here you can see why it is called a star fruit.  Isn’t that precious?

Now for the inside!

I think it looks a lot like fish from this cut.  Really water and rancid looking fish.  I know I’m really selling you guys on the appeal of carambola aren’t I?

Look!  I destroyed a perfectly good seed!  D’oh!  Hopefully there are more!

Jackpot!  I found 6 seeds in it.  You can see they’re coated in a nasty slime.  And in case you’re wondering, even though I’ve been complaining about the taste of the fruit this whole time, I did in fact eat the thing because it would be stupid to let it go to waste.  They’re not great but they’re not so awful that it’ll make me throw up.  Plus I’m sure they’re pretty good for you what with being a fruit and all.

That’s the last of the pictures because this is where my camera started being a drama queen.  Basically the only other thing you have to do is wash off the seeds (often times the fruit contains anti-germination compounds to prevent germinating while still on the tree) and then stick them in some well draining potting soil.  I’ve never grown these before from seed so I’ll let you know as soon as they’re up!  The soursop I started from seed two months ago just sprouted last week so it might be a while.  I don’t know why but I have a gut feeling this will not take QUITE that long though.  Anyone have any other suggestions for plants I should try from the grocery?

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3 thoughts on “Why did the horticulturist go to the store?

  1. This sounds like a cool plant! I’d never even thought about which plants are in the Oxalidaceae besides Oxalis, but now that I know it, it seems obvious from the fruit shape that star fruit has to be.

    I’d love to see how this this turns out – I’m kinda tempted to try it myself. Only starfruit is rather hard to find round here.

  2. Thanks for commenting on my WordPress — I probably wouldn’t have found yours otherwise. I too am curious to see how your starfruit propagation goes. I saved about 7 seeds from mine and planted only one, which after two weeks has so far failed to germinate. And it’s too bad you didn’t like the flavour! Maybe didn’t enough Starbursts as a kid…

    • My experience with most tropical fruits is that they take FOREVER to germinate. My cherimoya seeds just sprouted this week after taking a month. I’ve tried eggfruit before and gave up after 2 months. But for some reason I have high hopes for these.

      As for the flavor…they always taste band-aidey to me. I’ve never been a big fan of band-aid flavored starbursts personally…

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