Beautiful and unusual, Buddha’s hand is grown for its large, yellow fruit that looks like it has fingers at the base. Intensely fragrant fruit, leaves and flowers distinguish this ancient citrus. Citron is believed to be the first citrus in cultivation, and has been used both for food and medicine. Today, it is eaten candied in fruitcakes and holiday breads. The true origin of this citron is unknown, but like most Citrus it is probably from the northwestern reaches of India. There have been seeds of this fruit found in archeological excavations that are about 4000 years old. Citrus medica arrived in the United States with Spanish explorers and commercial production began in California in the late 1800s.Citron is a shrub or small tree which is evergreen and slow-growing. Its stiff twigs and branches are spiny and covered with strongly fragrant, elliptical to lance-shaped leaves that are much like those on lemon trees. The new leaves are purple hued and mature to dark green. The flowers are borne throughout the year but appear most abundantly from midwinter to spring. The fragrant flowers are light purple or red in bud and open to white.