A good example of this amazing fruit, grown in my greenhouse and photographed in February, 2000. The fruit is inedible as it has no internal flesh (see picture below), but is said to be highly esteemed in China where it is hung up to perfume rooms and cupboards. The fruit is about 12cms (5ins.) long.There are two clones of Buddha's Hand. This is the form with red-tinged flower buds.
page updated 26th September 2005
Flower bud & with petals and stamens partly removed shows the style is already split into fingers
Fruit split to reveal only pith.
Another fruit from exactly the same plant in 2004. I suspect the spread of the fingers may depend on exact growing conditions as the fruit develops
A viewer of this page e-mailed me with some more information:-
The fruit is edible and has been eaten in China for centuries. As a medicinal herb and also as a candy. The fruit is first pickled in salt for a month to remove the bitter taste of the tannin, drained, washed and then steamed to soften the fruit. The fruit can then be cut into pieces and candied as you would lemon zest. The resulting candy is a aromatic and tasty snack that is perfect for indigestion and sore throat.