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Saturday, 19 May 2012

BILIMBI - A tree of acidic fruits for pickles, curries and jam

You know Bilimbi fruits? You might have seen it, thickly growing from branches and trunk of the tree. The appearance of its bearing stage is attractive. The scientific name of Bilimbi is Averrhoa bilimbi. In Kerala it is known as Irumban puli. Bilimbi is grown as a backyard tree for its fruits which are acidic and therefore sour in taste. It is easy to grow with less care.
Top portion of Bilimbi tree 
Bilimbi is propagated by air layers and seeds. Air layers are fast growing and early bearing. It can be planted in pits of 60x60x60cm size. Pits may be filled with top soil and organic manure before planting. Do planting at the onset of monsoon or after heavy showers. Water the plant during heavy summer till establishment of the same. Thereafter it needs very little care.
Lower portion
Once established, Bilumbi tree starts giving fruits throughout the year. Fruits are juicy and acidic and commonly used for pickles and curries. Ripe fruits can also be used for making jam or it can be preserved by sun drying.
Mature fruits
Bilimbi fruits and leaves have medicinal properties.

Bilimbi plant

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