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Starfruit-shaped seed.

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Strange starfruit-shaped brown seed.

Strange starfruit-like seed.Pic: Strange starfruit-like seed.
What's this seed? It's a nice one, strange, oblong, five-cornered, starshaped once you've cut it up, and no, it's not any of the spices I know. Oh, and the background is light green, though the flash lit it up a bit too much.

The black dried thing inside the seed smells strongly of vanilla.

The thing looks like a mummified starfruit (Carambola), except that it's not all wrinkly and things, and it's hollow, with a single wrinkled black thing inside.

It's most like a beech nut, but those only have three corners, are lighter brown, and don't have dried-up black things inside but yummy light brown nutlike things instead.

Anybody? Many thanks.

Update 10Mar2009: It's Quisqualis indica, the TCM remedy shi jun zi.


Miniature Elder Ones, maybe?
Where'd you find them?

It was an xmas decoration gift to the school where I was teaching a couple weeks ago; no packaging, no labels, nothing.
They're rather pretty. I think I'll plant one or two of them, come spring.