Phyllanthus acidus, in the family Euphorbiaceae, is also known as the Malay Gooseberry, Star Gooseberry, Otaheite Gooseberry or simply the Gooseberry Tree. Despite its name, the fruit and plant’s habit do not resemble those of the cold climate gooseberry, except perhaps for the acidity of the fruit.
The small tree reaches 2-9m in height by 2-6m in width. Initially erect in habit when young, it swiftly produces lateral branches to create a spreading bushy crown.
Pinnate leaves are lime green and give the plant a fern-like appearance. The Star Gooseberry looks somewhat similar in appearance to another edible fruit tree of the tropics, the Bilimbi Tree (Averrhoa bilimbi).
The article also covers briefly:
- Origin and distribution
- Uses for the fruit
There is a bonus recipe for Star Gooseberry Pickle as well.