We were entranced by this Buddha Lemon tree, seen at the Maubec Hortifleurs festival

We were entranced by this Buddha Lemon tree, seen at the Maubec Hortifleurs festival

Buddha’s hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, or the fingered lemon, 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, in which the basal side is united and the apical side fingered. The origin of this kind of lemon is commonly traced back to the Far East, probably northeastern India or China, where most domesticated citrus fruits originate.

Buddha’s hand fruit is very fragrant and is used predominantly in China and Japan for perfuming rooms and personal items such as clothing.

 

A close up of the Buddha lemon

A close up of the Buddha lemon

 

Religious uses
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, 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.

Ornamental use
The fingered citron is cultivated as an ornamental tree in gardens and containers on patios and terraces.

Food and Medicine
Though esteemed chiefly for its “exquisite form and aroma”, the Buddha’s Hand fruit can also be eaten (often as a zest or flavouring) in desserts, savoury dishes and alcoholic beverages (such as vodka) or candied as a sweet. The sliced, dried peel of immature fruits is also prescribed as a tonic in traditional medicine.

Comments

Leave a Reply




  • Blog Roll

    • 2 Oceans Vibe - South Africa’s premier news site for the upwardly mobile.
    • 2Oceansvibe Radio - South Africa’s premier internet radio station – great tunes, good banter and setting the pace
    • Crikey - what they don’t publish in Oz, in the mainstream printed news. Concise comment.
    • Getaway Guru - Great travel site with many hints and tips
    • Popyacollar - A leading edge look at fashions and trends by a leading fashionista
    • Provence Villa Rental - the ultimate property rental in France. Provençal Paradise.
    • Thought Leadership Strategy – Craig Badings - Craig is one of Australia’s leading PR practitioners. His views on Thought Leadership and Strategy are always worth reading
    • Wrestling Possums - The doyen of PR, Chris Savage, gives this site his unique brand of incisiveness. A must read if you’re interested in communications.
  • Other Links



  •   

       

    LSW Twitter

    white spacer

    radio

    white spacer

    white spacer

    white spacer