Star Gooseberry Tips

  • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the common name Star gooseberry actually refers to two distinct species of plant: Phyllanthus acidus, the Otaheite gooseberry and Sauropus androgynus, the Katuk. Also known as Tahitian Gooseberry, this curious and ornamental small tropical tree features a bushy crown, red flowers and abundant waxy yellow fruit. It is native to India and Madagascar where it is popular for its medicinal values and as an ingredient in sweet relishes and preserves. Its popularity has spread it widely throughout Asia and the Pacific and occasionally spotted throughout Central America. The young leaves are also cooked as a green. While tolerant to most soil types, it prefers moist sites in the full sun in the sub/tropics. Phyllanthus Acidus is an evergreen deciduous tree up to 25-30' high and belongs to the family of Euphorbiaceae. `Phyllanthus' is derived from Greek word that means flower on the leaves, `acidus' on account of the acidity of the fruit. The leaves are compound, 14" to 25" long and crowded at the ends of the branches. The leaflets are 2" - 3" long by 1" wide, alternately arranged along with branchlets, ovate. Flowers are very minute in pale white and have short dense spike like clusters arising from nodules along the branches. Clusters of fruit resemble minute mulberries and are pendulous in small clusters from the branches. They are round or slightly flattened with five shallow ribs. It is propagated by seed. It is a native of Malaya and Madagascar and frequently grown in India for its acid fruit. Star gooseberry chewed along with salt is a remedy for nausea and vomiting and also gives appetite. It can be preserved as jams. The flowers and produces fruits twice a year. Megan Osmond says to stew with apple and lots of sugar and it will taste like stewed Rhubarb.    Ref:  www; Daleys; Chitra Radhakrishnan