Buddha’s Hand - Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis

This strange fruit is commonly known as Buddha’s Hand and also as Fingered Citron. It is a citron variety scientifically named Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis (Sapindales - Rutaceae). 

The 6- to 12-inch fruits split longitudinally at the end opposite the stem, as the carpels separate into segments that look somewhat like human fingers, hence its common name. The fruits are similar to lemons, but with flesh that is less acid and peels that are thicker and more fragrant. 

While the actual location of origin is unknown, it is believed that Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis originated in Northeastern India and was possibly the first citrus to be brought to Europe by Greek and Roman explorers.

In China the Buddha’s Hand symbolizes happiness and long life, and in Japan is a popular gift at New Year’s, for it is believed to bestow good fortune on a household.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Alan Buckingham | Locality: Isole di Brissago Botanic Garden, Ticino, Switzerland, 2014 - [Top] - [Bottom]