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Taling-Pling, now in blossom

June 2, 2010

“Taling-Pling” is so fun to say, that I prefer this Thai name to “Bilimbi” or “Cucumber tree”. This small tree, Averrhoa bilimbi,  is a member of Oxalidaceae, i.e. a distant relative of the Wood Sorrel in Europe (Oxalis acetosella). The green fruits look like small cucumbers or gherkins, and are very sour. I believe that sour fruits are most refreshing on a hot day, especially if served with a chili dip and a cold beer. In spite of the fact it is native to the more moist parts of Southeast Asia, it grows very well at Dokmai Garden where we irrigate it generously. In fact, it thrives better than its relative Averrhoa carambola, the star fruit. A short period (4 weeks) of drought is good for Taling-Pling, while the star fruit should be irrigated all the time. The light green foliage of Taling-Pling is very attractive too.

Eric Danell

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