|Buddha's hand fruit, underside of "open hand" appearance when ripe|
|Variety:||C. medica var. sarcodactylus|
|Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus
Buddha's hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, or the fingered citron, is an unusually shaped citron variety whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections, resembling a human hand. In Japanese it is called bushukan (ブッシュカン).
The different cultivars and variations of this citron variety form a gradient from "open-hand" types with outward-splayed segments to "closed-hand" types, in which the fingers are kept together. There are also half fingered fruits, that the basal side is united and the apical side fingered. The origin of this kind of citron is commonly traced back to the Far East, probably Northeastern India or China, where most domesticated citrus fruits originate from.
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The fruit may be given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples. According to tradition, Buddha prefers the "fingers" of the fruit to be in a position where they resemble a closed rather than open hand, as closed hands symbolize to Buddha the act of prayer. In China, Buddha’s fruit Hand is a symbol of happiness, longevity, and good fortune. A traditional temple offering and a New Year’s gift.
Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis like any other citron variety, is a shrub or small tree with long, irregular branches covered in thorns. Its large, oblong leaves are pale green and grow about four to six inches. Its white flowers are tinted purplish from the outside and grow in fragrant clusters. The fruit's fingers are comprised from only the white part of the fruit, it still sometimes contain a small amount of acidic pulp, but many of them are completely juiceless and some are seedless.
|Offerings · Bows
3 Refuges · Chanting
|5 Precepts · 8 Precepts
|Meditation · Giving
Study · Pilgrimage
The plant is sensitive to frost, as well as intense heat and drought. It grows best in temperate conditions. Areas such as the coast of Southern California as well as inland valleys are considered ideal for its planting. Trees can be grown from cuttings taken from branches two to four years old. It is very commonly grafted onto sufficient rootstock.
Tree in the Linnean House of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Citrus medica digitata (Italian for fingered) in Val Rahmeh botanical garden
A closed fingered citron by Johann Christoph Volckamer
- Karp, David (Winter 1998). "Buddha's Hand Citron". Flavor and Fortune (Kings Park, NY: Institute for the Advancement of the Science and Art of Chinese Cuisine) 5 (4): 5–6. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "Citrus medica var. Buddhas Hand". Catalog of the Living Plant Collections. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Plant Growth Facilities. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "Buddha's hand citron". Catalog of the Citrus Variety Collection. Riverside, CA: University of California, Riverside, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, Citrus Experiment Station. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
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