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Buddha’s Hand Cirus Medica Digitata

Buddha’s Hand Citrus Medica Digitata is a plant with singular traits, in Chinese culture it is used as a room ornament.
For the Buddhist religion it is considered a fruit to be given in thanksgiving, a citrus fruit therefore sacred! That is why it gets its name.
In Japan it is considered a lucky fruit and is usually given as a gift on New Year’s Eve.

Variegated Buddha’s Hand Cedar (Citrus medica digitata) is a curious cedar fruit.
This variety has its “roots” in Indochina, until it was imported to Italy, more specifically Florence, by the Medici family.

The Plant
From a distance it is sometimes mistaken for a chili pepper.
Some say it resembles a hand, others think it is just a malformation of the Lemon.
Unlike the classic Buddha’s Hand Cedar, the variegated one possesses the leaves, which are precisely variegated, but the fruit also has distinctive mottling!
Already from flowering, the deformations of the small fruit are evident, and as it grows, the wrinkled extensions resembling fingers become more and more obvious.

The Taste
The fruit of Variegated Buddha’s Hand Cedar is medium to large in size and is exquisitely fragrant.
The ‘albedo (the white of the peel) is delicious to eat.
The yellow, slightly bitter part of the peel is rich in essential oils.

When it matures and when it flowers
The Buddha’s Hand Cedar tends to make long branches that lignify quickly and are prone to leaf drop in winter, but if pruned often, this phenomenon is drastically reduced.
The main flowering time is in spring, but it blooms very well throughout the year, so ripe fruit, large and small green fruit and flowers are often found on the plant at the same time.

How to use it
The Buddha’s hand when ripe reaches a deep yellow color, the rind is wrinkled and rich in essential oils, while inside it consists of a white albedo that is very sweet and therefore very good to eat.
With the rind of its delicious fruit, which is characterized by a very scarce pulp, delicious candied fruit can be made to make desserts even tastier, or it can be used to make fruity liqueurs or to enrich salads. In short, an unusual and versatile fruit!

Cold resistance
In a sheltered environment (in greenhouses) it can withstand temperatures as low as -5.
As for cultivation, this variety needs the same care as a classic lemon!