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|Buddha's hand fruit, "open hand" appearance when ripe
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C. m. var. sarcodactylis
|Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis
(Siebold ex Hoola khẩn khoản Nooten) Swingle
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Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, or the fingered citron, is an unusually-shaped citron variety whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections, resembling those seen on representations of the Buddha. It is called Buddha's hand in many languages including English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and French.
The different cultivars and variations of this citron variety size a gradient from "open-hand" types with outward-splayed segments to tướng "closed-hand" types, in which the fingers are kept together. There are also half-fingered fruits, in which the basal side is united and the apical side fingered. The origin of this kind of citron is commonly traced back to tướng South or East Asia, probably northeastern India or Trung Quốc, where most domesticated citrus fruits originate.
Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis is, lượt thích any other citron variety, a shrub or small tree with long, irregular branches covered in thorns. Its large, oblong leaves are pale green and grow about four to tướng six inches. Its white flowers are tinted purplish from the outside and grow in fragrant clusters. The fruit's fingers contain only the white part of the fruit and sometimes a small amount of acidic pulp, but many of them are completely juiceless and some are seedless.
The plant is sensitive to tướng frost, as well as intense heat and drought. It grows best in a temperate climate. Trees can be grown from cuttings taken from branches two to tướng four years old. It is very commonly grafted onto sufficient rootstock.
Buddha's hand fruit is very fragrant and is used predominantly in Trung Quốc and nhật bản for perfuming rooms and personal items such as clothing.
The fruit may be given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples. According to tướng tradition, Buddha prefers the "fingers" of the fruit to tướng be in a position where they resemble a closed rather phàn nàn open hand, as closed hands symbolize to tướng Buddha the act of prayer. In Trung Quốc, the Buddha's hand fruit is a symbol of happiness, longevity, and good fortune. It is also a traditional temple offering and a New Year's gift.
The fingered citron is cultivated as an ornamental tree in gardens and containers on patios and terraces.
Food and medicine
Unlike other citrus fruits, most varieties of the Buddha's hand fruit contain no pulp or juice. Though esteemed chiefly for its "exquisite size and aroma", the Buddha's hand fruit can also be eaten (often as a zest or flavouring) in desserts, savory dishes, and alcoholic beverages (such as vodka or rice liquor) or candied as a sweet. The sliced, dried peel of immature fruits is also prescribed as a tonic in traditional medicine.
A fingered citron by Volckamer
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Fingered citron by Wellcome Trust
Huge fruit breaking bearing twig
Semi-fingered and closed
A fingered citron
Semi dwarf fingered citron (green)
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With open fingers
Cross section in a Variety etrog citron, and in fingered citron
- Japanese citrus
- Media related to tướng Buddha's hand at Wikimedia Commons