Fingered Citron, Buddha's Hand

Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Citrus (SIT-rus) (Info)
Species: medica var. sarcodactylus



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gaylesville, Alabama

Albany, California

Clovis, California

East Palo Alto, California

El Cajon, California

El Sobrante, California

San Jose, California

Boca Raton, Florida

Stuart, Florida

Venice, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

Hulbert, Oklahoma

North Charleston, South Carolina

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

La Porte, Texas

Shepherd, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 30, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Buddha's Hand Citrus Fruit is also known as Bushukan or Fingered Citron. It originated from India and China.
It is an ornamental tree or shrub, covered in thorns, but has fragrant white flowers tinged with a purplish colour. It has a thick peel which is used as zest in culinary dishes, and it has no juice.
It is used as an offering in Buddhist temples, and the closed fingers were preferred by Buddha because they were like praying hands.
It's fragrance is used to perfume clothing and rooms.


On Mar 6, 2011, Gangajay from Marine Parade
Singapore wrote:

I'd often seen this as an ornamental plant, but discovered its culinary value when I was served some fresh cheese in a restaurant with the zest grated over. The scent was heavenly, almost like sweet Sicilian lemon.


On Dec 14, 2008, rntx22 from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I was surprised to see this guy survive the snow we had last week. A few leaves got a little brown, but otherwise mine still looks ok!!


On Apr 28, 2007, ManicReality from Houston, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

It looks beautiful, I have just gotten ahold of a young plant about a foot tall. It is outside, hopefully it will like it there.


On Oct 15, 2006, Laaz from North Charleston, SC wrote:

Buddha's hand does not normally produce seed. If by chance you find one I would not think it would come true to type.


On Apr 15, 2006, Jamie_Anderson from Wellington
New Zealand wrote:

I have one of these citrons in a pot, after repotting it has just started to settle down, and throw out a flush of leaves. The picture I have posted is of a juvenile fruit.

The fruit of this plant is reportedly highly prized in Asian cultures for its deliciously sweet and citrussy scent, and for its beauty.

This plant grows well in New Zealand.


On Jun 10, 2004, marshtackie from Orlando, FL wrote:

That despite the fact that the plant I had was the most bug-prone citrus ever. It has since kicked the bucket.

Why my experience was positive: the smell is heavenly, even better than that of a Key lime. Prune a branch and it perfumes the air. I grew it in a large pot, as I do Key limes, and I intended to try to make Sukkade out of the fruit (candied citron) and perhaps try the leaves in soups or stews as the Thais use lime leaves.

Should add: reason I grew it in a pot--like Key lime, this one is sensitive to cold temperatures. I live in Zone 9. Can't grow Key limes in the open ground here; one year with a freeze and blooey! Should also add: acid citrus tends to bloom and fruit off and on throughout the year. This is true of Key limes and calamondins; I think i... read more


On Apr 26, 2004, martina from El Cajon, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

We bought three plants for our garden E of San Diego, one little tree died and one is struggling - snail attacks seem to be the problem - California snails easily destroy the bark of the trunk. Still, our third plant is a success, plenty of beautiful blooms and absolutely stunning fruit - well worth all the care and waiting.


On Sep 20, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant's a natural crowd pleaser. People spot the fruit from as far away as they can see it and gravitate to it to get a better look. The one at Marie Selby Botanical Garden always seems to have fruit and always seems to have a crown of tourists taking pictures of it. It may be the most photographed plant in the Selby collection.


On Nov 20, 2002, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I really like the way this fruit looks,like an odd shaped lemon. The fruit is mostly rind, but is candied in Asian cuisine.