name that fruit!: camias

i tried to find an english name for this fruit, known as a camias (kamyas, kamias)--pronounced kahmyás--but couldn't. a relative of the carambola, it is believed to have originated in sri lanka, but it is cultivated and grows wild throughout southeast asia. the latin name for the tree itself is averrhoa bilimbi, but it is the carambola that is known in the philippines as the bilimbing, in malaysia as the belimbing, and on guam as the bilimbines. the tree, in english, is called a tropical cucumber tree, but the fruit is not considered a tropical cucumber. meh. whatever.

the camias is similar in texture and taste to the carambola, but its high oxalic acid content often makes it too acidic or sour to eat raw, although it is often used as a component in a raw salsa. it is made into pickles, preserves and candies, or added to curries or to soups as a souring agent. when i am loathe to leave the house, i go out to our tree and chop up a large quantity of fruit, sautée it with onions and garlic, and serve it with grilled or broiled salmon. the acids reduce dramatically in cooking, and it mellows out to a nice lemony pear flavour. excellent.

camias are so acidic, they are used to clean the blades of daggers, bleach stains off of skin, or take the tarnish off of brass (cheap oxy clean, anyone?) . the leaves are boiled for a cough remedy, and a flower infusion is said to be effective against fever and er, thrush.



Thanks for the info on Camias. My brother-in-law has a bush full of them in Hawaii. Contrary to what you said about eating them raw, I LOVE them raw. I like anything sour and especially like them with just rice and soy sauce. YUM. Anyway, I didn't know anything about them until I saw your BLOG. Educational !!

hi phil! thanks for stopping by, glad to be of help. your brother-in-law is lucky, i hear they are hard to come by in hawaii (at least in honolulu). i actually like them raw, but in small doses. however, i have a recipe for a camias smoothie that's excellent, i'll do a post about that soon!

is it true that camias is effective for abortion ?

no idea.

growing up on guam, we called those Pickles. they were sometimes put into filipino soups. as for Bilenbenes, that would be "star fruit" or star apple.

I lived on Guam from 1966-68. I happened upon you site when a Filipino friend mentioned Camias when I asked her about ibas, a small sour fruit. Ever hear of them?



I am researching about market for camias wine since I have a client who is looking for market of her locally produced wine. I am amused by your exchange of stories about camias. Guys, we do make camias wine here. Would you like to help find market for us. This was tested by the Department of Science and Technology here in the Phils and showed 8.44% proof of alcohol.

Hi everyone!

I have here basketsful of camias right now. Sold some of them in the market this morning but everyone here seems to have camias tree in their back or frontyard. I'd like to make sweet-sour candies out of them Anyone has an idea/ recipe how to make it into something like dried mangoes or champoy? Or perhaps marmalade? Thanks a lot!

To: Tessa Virac

Hello, from where are you? I love to hear that your community has plenty of Kamias. While us here, particularly in my community, I am telling every household to plant Kamias so they will be my supplier of fruits. I treasure the fruits for call my product "Phil. Prunes" for my candied Kamias. How I do it? Email to me suzettegaray@yahoo.com we can be partners in greening Phils.

I heard that boiled camias leaves are good for treating knee problem. You substitute it for your regular drinking water.
Does anyone know of a plant nursery in Las Vegas that sells the tree. Also is it something that can grow in a very hot climate. Please advise. thanks.


Thanks God ...were just the same ...I also tried to find the English term form Camias or iba...cause we are about to make a camias jelly project...u wanna buy?

doesnt bilimbing mean "star fruit"? or is that "balimbing"?
i guess they're related, hey?
they taste awesome raw.

hi, there, i read your e-mails and found it very intersting.

we have lots of camias or iba here in cebu city philippines and i want to ask if you can provide me some procedure and ingridients to make camias wine.

i been making wine for almost a year now but i have not tried making camias wine. its because it
is very acidic and maybe the wine would have a acidic taste.

please give me some inputs

Seems it could be called sour blimbing to distinguish it from manis (sweet) blimbing or starfruit, since they are related.


thnks for the information about kamyas.. i am searching for the kamyas for our business plan in making vinegar out of kamyas..
i would like to ask from you guys to please help me in making this bsiness plans. please send your infos in leoj022604@yahoo.com

======H E L P ! ! ! ! !



how can i make camias into vinegar?

hi! please send me some info on making vinegar out of kamyas or making wine out of kamyas. I badly need it for my project. Thanks a lot. this is my email add. ctan_27@yahoo.com.ph

can i use camias as substitute diluting fluids for wbc?

Thank you for the information.I just want to ask help from you guys.I, together with my group are planning to make camias wine but unfortunately, we do not have sufficient information on how to make it. I hope that you can help us. Please send me information to my yahoo email address: rose_valence@yahoo.com.ph
Thank you so much in advance
Premum Regnum Dei!!

hi. thanks for the information. it's very helpful in my case. i have this feasibility study. im planning to produce camias catsup. as an alternative for tomato catsup. we all know that tomato catsups are expensive, and if this camias catsup will be successful, lots of people can enjoy tomato catsup like that is very affordable. if you can post another blog about its nutritional value i really be grateful. thanks

ahm if you have the information and any suggestions on procedures that we could use to make my feasib possible that would be great.. please help me.. its another undertaking in the field of food and it could benefit a lot of average and low income group in the country.. pls help me out.. thanks.. you can send the info. through my email.. aisheteru18@yahoo.com.ph


Hi Phil,

Am the tour guide in Vietnam-the tropical country-we have camias but we don't eat them, we use them for decoration only. I suggest that you should grow them in a little pot and keep right in your room. That's cute and attractive.

Minh Toan

Salamat sa image nang iba,love this fruit.goes well with Tinowa or Tinolang isda(Maya-Maya) with lots of sili....yum yum yum,now i'll have some one to get it at the back of our house...... god bless :-) Happy People Eating Iba Group Geoffrey R. Galicia