Incredible Kajang Carambola

gnappiJanuary 17, 2012

Last summer I put in tree carambola trees, a Kari, a Bell, and Kajang.

I've had Kari at Jeff's place and knew I'd like them. After planting the Kari, I found a nice sized Bell. After much wait and hand pollinating it finally fruited. At the same time, I bought a little 3' tall Kajang which was already in blossoms and I put it in the ground on the side of my house, now called "Carambola lane" :-)

Here's my assessment of the three fruits from the best fruit picked totally ripe off the tree.

#1 Kajang. By far the sweetest and most full of juice of the three. This little guy on its first fruit cycle EXPLODED in blooms which I hand pollinated. Only a half dozen stayed to mature. Its ripe yellow color is lighter than the Bell, and larger.

#2. Bell. This one was really deceiving. When I first picked fruit as if it were a Kari in color, the fruit was acidic and not juicy. I was going to pull it out of the ground. I'm glad I did not. I let all of the fruit get almost school bus orange and the difference was dramatic. Sweet, and pretty juicy, but not as good as the Kajang.

#3. Kari. This is a close one behind the Bell. It appears to be more productive but not quite as sweet but definitely a keeper. Next cycle I'm going to try pinching off some of the fruits and giving it more "K" fertilizer to see if sweetness can be enhanced.

It was never my plan to keep three carambola trees and allow them to mature but I'm so glad I put them in and will keep them all. You just may see me at the flea market someday after I retire with baskets full of carabola labeled by cultivar selling fruit and trees someday :-)

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murahilin(10 fl)

I haven't had the kajang, but it sounds pretty good. Where did you buy the kajang?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 1:20PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

Kajang is another selection from Hawaii. The Kary is generally considered better tasting, but cultural factors can easily influence flavor.

Here's a couple of references with the Kajang mentioned:

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 1:38PM
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JoeP450

This is the first time ive heard of hand pollinating carambola, what is the increased rate of fruit set versus normal pollination?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 9:21PM
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gnappi

Cultural factors? CULTURAL FACTORS??? I've heard soil, light, and fertilizer but now we have to worry about cultural factors? OK, so be it... I'll dress my Kary up in a Tux tomorrow :-) That will make him look impotent, or is it important?... darn English pronunciation :-)

The Kajang was the FIRST carambola to literally stop me in my tracks on taking the first bite. Kinda like the Lemon Guava did.

Jeff, Thanks for the FSHS pdf link it's very well done. Though if I had to rate the three and burn two to the ground I would have to keep (so far) the Kajang.

If the little Kajang keeps giving me the extraordinary taste of the first one I'm going to be one happy camper.

Anyway, murahilin I bought the little Kajang at HD in east Hollywood (Fla.) for no other reason than it had hundreds of blossoms and my Kary and Bell seemed unwilling to flower. This is the only Kajang I've ever seen anywhere. Most of the retail stores have Arkin or an unnamed variety.

For the $25.00 (IIRC) I paid for it, the tree was well worth the risk. If it gets cold out there I'm going to fabricate a little tent around it! The Kary and Bell will have to fend for themselves, they're three to four times larger.

When this little guy gives up the next harvest I'll bring some to you Jeff. As usual you're welcome to take cuttings from it when I go to trim it.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 9:44PM
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bsbullie

I have not had the Kajang but I prefer the Hart over the Bell, Kari and Fwang Tung. They may be smaller but more than make up for it in taste, juice and aromatics.

Rob

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 11:40PM
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gnappi

"This is the first time ive heard of hand pollinating carambola, what is the increased rate of fruit set versus normal pollination?"

I don't know. I had no bees last summer, and it was killing me to see the flowers die and drop off. My GF bought me a bunch of makeup brushes and I played bee for a few months.

All three of the trees set an awful lot of fruit, but a lot aborted on the Bell (ate maybe 30) and less aborted on the Kari, but all but the Kajang aborted most of the several hundred that took the pollination.

Y'know this raises a question for the experts out there I'll post in another thread.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 1:58AM
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jeffhagen(10B)

HAHAHAHAH Yah, you have pretty darn nice soil there. The flavor also varies from winter to summer. Mine are usually quite a bit sweeter in summer. I'd also be curious to try the kajang.

Jeff

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:32AM
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charleslou23

anyone ever tasted maher dwarf star fruit before?

wondering if it's as sweet as kajang?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:12AM
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gnappi

Today I got my second go at a fruit from the little Kajang.

My GF can take or leave the Bell and Kari I have fruiting in the yard. I washed and cut it in pieces for she and I.

She said it was the FIRST carambola that she did not have to sweeten with sugar to make it palatable to her taste. She also agreed that it was the juiciest of all the carambolas she has tasted.

There are two left on the tree and when they ripen, one is for my son to get his opinion who also likes carambola in general, the other is for Jeff and his wife :-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:36PM
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