I grow cucumbers on trees? How! ..

I grow cucumbers on trees? How! .. It just so happened that in the family Cucurbitaceae, oddly enough, ran into a wonderful tree bilimbi (Averrhoa Bilimbi), also referred to as a cucumber for the similarity of the fruit of so familiar to us vegetable. His country is an island of Socotra, which lies in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. In Sanskrit the name means "island of bliss. And, incidentally, Madagascar pirates called this island is so. And they spread the plant as a symbol of good luck for the world.

In our time the tree has successfully cultivated in many tropical countries: Indonesia, Thailand, India, the Philippines, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Antilles, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, northern Argentina, etc.

Bilimbi in the realm of trees is not a giant. On average, this species grows to a height of 4-5 meters, but there are also devyatimetrovye copies. Sure feels on stony soil. It has a thick tapered trunk, covered with gray bark, and frankly, very rare crown.

On the branches are prickly and large stiff leaves on long cuttings, the reverse side of which is covered with down. Leaves are compound, they consist of 11-37 oval-oblong leaflets. A very expressive of their identity is an amazing ability to emerge at night and open in the morning.

Flowers, too, behave very original way: they bloom in large numbers directly on the trunk and the old stable branches. And the fruits, which are small cucumbers shipastye length from 4 to 10 inches, located in clusters.

Another remarkable feature of the cucumber tree is its ability to stock up moisture to survive the dry season. Moisture collects in the loose tissues of the stem, which swells and fills latex. But people have long realized that this fact can be used in self-interest: when a severe drought, farmers are cutting down trees, remove them from the bark and the pulp, which is easily cut with ordinary kitchen knife, sending cattle feed.

However, in cooking are also used as a fruit, and flowers bilimbi, such as canning, manufacture of soft drinks, sauces, jams and jellies. As the tropical cucumber juice contains a lot of oxalic acid, it is used in agriculture as a bleaching agent for textiles, paint remover and cleaner brass.

In addition, since ancient times has been observed that bilimbi possesses strong healing properties that make with it are treated cough, skin rashes, bites of poisonous animals, tumors, diarrhea, venereal disease - of course, if you take into account contraindications resulting from the high acidity of the fruit.