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It is well known that one can't just use any citrus for sukkot, but rather, one has to use an etrog/citron. But what about for the hadass? I know the branches used should have "3 leaves that surround." But is there actually a specific variety that does that? Or do most myrtle trees grow leaves in 3s and therefore you can use any local variety of myrtle?

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    See Gemara 32b. – kouty Oct 19 '16 at 5:58
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See Shulchan Aruch (OC 646:3):

ענף עץ עבות האמור בתורה, הוא ההדס שעליו חופין את עצו; כגון שלשה עלין או יותר, בגבעול אחד; אבל אם היו שני העלים בשוה, זה כנגד זה, והעלה השלישי למעלה מהם, אין זה עבות אבל נקרא: הדס שוטה: ‏

Thick branch of tree spoken in Tora is myrtle whose leaves cover the stem, at least three leaves at the same level. But if two leaves are at one level but the third is higher, this is not the "thick", this species is called "mad myrtle".

Here is at left a regular myrtle, and at right a "mad" myrtle (called mad because of the inability to line up).

hadas shote

הגה - ופסול אפי' בשעת הדחק; ואיכא מאן דאמר בגמרא דכשר; וע"כ נוהגין באלו המדינות לכתחלה לצאת באלו ההדסים המובאים ואין ג' עלין בגבעול אחד; ויש מי שכתב דהדסים שלנו אין נקראים הדס שוטה, הואיל והם שנים על גב שנים ואינן כהדס שוטה המוזכר בגמרא; ולכן נהגו להקל כמו שכתב מהר"י קלון ומהר"י איסרלן ז"ל בתשובותיהם: ‏

The mad myrtle is not regular even if there is nothing else; but some poskim allows. Because of this Last opinion in Central and Eastern Europe they carry out the mitsva with imported myrtles which have not three leaves at the same level. Some poskim said that our myrtles are not mad myrtle because there are only two leaves at each level contrarily to the mad myrtle which has an irregular row of three. This is the reason of our lenient custom.

Species with rows of three leaves are regular according to the Rama, but rows of 3 not line up leaves are not Kasher.

There are myrtle branches with rows of 2 leaves. Poskim discussed if they are also not Kasher, and the minhag was to use them lechatechilla.

Some beautyful myrtles result from crossing of species an are not true myrtle, and therefore are not Kasher, they was imported from Italy.

  • Can you translate please? – Aaron Oct 20 '16 at 0:16
  • @Aaron see edit – kouty Oct 20 '16 at 3:53

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