CITRUS HYSTRIX

CITRUS HYSTRIX

FAMILY: RUTACEAE
KAFFIR LIME, KIEFFER LIME, MAKRUT, MAGROOD: A medium sized tree with large hourglass shaped leaves and small (1-2″ diameter), hard, knobby green fruit. From Southeast Asia.

The leaves (used dried, fresh or frozen) and zest of the fruit are used very commonly in Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisines for its sharp lime/neroli flavor. The fruit, juice, and rind (jeruk obat “medicine citrus”) is used in traditional Indonesian medicine.

The name “kaffir” is considered to be a racial slur in Africa (referring to the native peoples there) and as a Muslim religious term meaning “infidel.”

CITRUS MEDICA var. SARCODACTYLUS

CITRUS MEDICA var. SARCODACTYLUS

FAMILY: RUTACEAE

buddhas hand citrusBUDDHA’S HAND CITRON, MANO DE CHANGO: A large, fingered yellow fruit with a rind of strong lemon scent and taste and no (or very little) flesh, seeds or juice. This citrus has large, fragrant, white flowers on a rapidly growing tree and will usually flower and fruit in the first year of growth. The original specimens are believed to be from Northeastern India and were possibly the first citrus brought to Europe by the ancient Greek and Roman explorers.

buddhas hand
The dried fruit has been used by the Chinese and Japanese for perfuming rooms and selected fruits (those with the “fingers” closed to resemble a praying hand) may be used as religious offerings in Buddhist Temples. The peel is used as “zest” in Western cuisine.

The name of this citrus is a good example of cultural differentiation between Mexico and South East Asia. In SE Asia, the plant is called “Buddha’s Hand” (a sacred hand) and here in Mexico it is called “Mano de Chango,” (monkey hand).

RUTA GRAVEOLENS

RUTA GRAVEOLENS

FAMILY: RUTACEAE

“If a man be anointed with the juice of rue, the poison of wolf’s bane, mushrooms, or toadstools, the biting of serpents, stinging of scorpions, spiders, bees, hornets and wasps will not hurt him.”
— Gerard, 1597

RUE, RUTA: Used for thousands of years medicinally, by and against witches, as an antidote to poisoning, &c, its lore is impressive. Medicinally, it was used as a stomachic, emmenagogue, abortifacient (should be avoided by happily pregnant women), antihelminthic, and aromatic (to say the least). It was popularly used in treating epilepsy, skin diseases, nervous disorders and rheumatism. Highly allergenic to some people (touching the plant may produce a rash).

The rue leaf is the model for the clubs in playing card decks. The name is from the Greek reuo meaning “to set free.”

A hardy plant that grows 2-3′ tall in full sun and any soil.