Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: Carambola trees are considered good Christmas gifts worldwide
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Title: Carambola trees are considered good Christmas gifts worldwide
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: February 4, 1994
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00051
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
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The Daiy News. Friday, Febuary 4. 1994


Environment 19I


Carambola trees are considered


good Christmas gifts worldwide


Millions around the world cele-
brate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Historically speaking, we should
know that Christ was not born on
Christmas Day. Futhermore. the
shepherds did not watch over their
flock on a cold winter night as one
Christmas song puts it
In reality, a group of shepherds
saw a bright star in the heaven
when they said. "where is he that is
born King of the Jews? We have
seen his star in the east and come to
worship him."
Thus it was the star that guided
the wise men to the birth of Christ.
An old African Dinka song also
mentions a star linked to the birth of
man.
The song entitled "The tree
where man was born." says Dendid
created all things. He created the
sun. and the son is born, and dies,
and comes again. He created the
moon, and the moon is born and
dies, and comes again. He created
the stars and the stars arc bom and
dies, and come again. He created
man, and man is born, and dies, and
does not come again."'
However, there is another star
that is borne on a tre. It is the
carambola fruit. This fruit is known
to mni;y people in the Caribbean as
the star fruit or golden star.
The fruit is believed to be a
native of Ceylon, now known as Sri
Lanka- It also is found in Southeast
Asia.
Tb.frrit is knownby many
other names around e world. In
Vietnam. the ru is called Kobe
KhI ta. or Chinese yang-ao. In
Guyana itai.halled fve fingers In
Costa Rica ifs known as the tirig-
urm. In El Salvador the fuit is
known as peinode la India
Haitians calit zibline. Thais call it
ma fuiang, and Virgin Islanders
refer to it as he star apple or caram-
bola.
The carambol tree has adapted
well to the environment of the Vir-
gin Islands. Te trees is relatively
pest-free. If insects or disease
become a major problem, one
should contact the University of the
Virgin Islands Cooperative Exten-
sion Service for information on
ways to control the pests.
There are two types of carambo-
la fruit the smaller very sour
fruit and the larger sweet one. -
It is easy to plant the fruit in a
backyard garden. However, the
seeds must be fully developed
before planting.
Plantre.be.propagated by air-
layering; bark grading or budding.
Grafted trees begin to bear fuir
wiiLo pis~ r -
Like eve y g i nature, the
environmerttinfluences the growth
pattern andbeifafrir bf the caram-


Olasee
Davis


Our environment

Research shows it is best to
place the trees 20 or'30 few apart,
depending on the type of soil
During the rainy season, flowers
can be damaged, hindering pollina-
tion and fruit production. So it is
best to plant different varieties to
provide cross-pollination.
Some carambola plants bear
fuit.all year round. Other plants
bear fruit only at certain times of
the year. Again environmental con-
ditions account for much of this.
When futs ripen, they fall to
the ground. For marketing purpos-
es, the fruit should be picked while
green, with just a touch of yellow.
The carambola fruit can be eaten
right away, sliced and served in sal-
ads. or used to garnish the avocado.
The carambola fruits can also be
cooked to make a pudding, stew.
and tarts. In China, the fruit is
cooked with fish.
Fruits are also salted, pickled


and made into jam in many coun-
tries. In Hawaii. the juice of sour
fruits is mixed with gelatin. lemon
juice. sugar and boiling water to
make sherbert.
Some people use unripe fruits to
make relish combined with celery.
vinegar. hoseradish. seasoning and
spices.
Fruits that are highly acidic can
also be used to polish metal Wood
from the carambola tree is used to
make furniture.
The carambola fruit also is
known to fight hemorrhages and
cures bleeding hemorrhoids.
The carambola also is recom-
mended to treat kidney and bladder
infection. Crushed leaves and
shoots are used to fight chickenpox
and ringworm. The combination of
leaves and fruits also control vomit-
ing. Leaves placed on the temples
soothe headaches.
For Christmas. or for any other
special event, the carambola tree is
a perfect gifL After all. the caram-
bola fruit is a star among tropical
fruits.

Olasee Davis, who holds a mas-
!er ofscience degree in range man-
.gement andforestry ecology. ra a
St. Croix ecologust, atldivt and
wrter.


I The Dady News, Friday, February 4. 1994


_ I




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