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Myth of Brahmakamal

I was told this is Brahmakamal (Saussurea obvallata) – a rare flowering plant, found in the Himalayas.

Night Blooming Cereus

Photographer: My camera phone

So yesterday night we had gathered around the white magnificent flower and enjoyed its full bloom and its heady fragrance for few hours.

We are supposed to get rich!!

We are supposed to have a shower of blessings!!

To find out all the myths and lores I went to surf the net and found that it is not Brahmakamal but Queen of the Night – cactus - Night Blooming Cereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum). In Maharashtra at least there is misconception about this plant being Brahmakamal.

But it is not that rare plant and flowers once a year(?) unlike Brahmakamal which is said to flower once in 14 years!

Looks are indeed deceptive here!

Does this flower belongs to waterlily family? No, not.

The inmates inside the flower’s own design cave kingdom!

The small plant in a pot

Now after busting the myth of Brahmakamal the million dollor question is: Am I still going to be rich?

But I did feel blessed by its serene white beauty!

(If you want to know more about flowers of India I strongly recommend this site.)



60 comments to Myth of Brahmakamal

  • Brahma Kamal blooming once in 14years also is a myth.
    I saw Uttaranchal’s Brahma Kamal in Hemkunt in 2003. It blooms every year in July-August.
    I have the south Indian Brahma kamal in our garden. It flowers once in every year.

  • Varun Sharma

    Dear Sir,

    This is for kind request to do needful changes in plant name, above the plant in images is Epiphyllum oxypetalum and not Saussurea obvallata. Because if you go through literature it is available in Himalayas above 3500m altitude, secondly in images the plant is non-native to India and introduced during Britishraj from America.

  • it is a wonderfull bramhakamala very nice my relationhouse prakash bilagi ramdurg

  • Ankit Das mdgr koriya

    At my home a i saw a flower bud coming up Next day i asked my mother what flower is that she told that it is brahmakamal it flowered up in sawan purnima it was a great day than i knew about its mytholgy that those who see the flowering of the flower their wish got completed

  • Gopalakrishna S R

    Just hree days earlier, more than eighty flowers of brahmakamalam bloomed with amazing beauty and fragrance, in the garden of my friend Sri Anilkumar, Vidyaranyapuram, Bangalore. It was a very rare scene of beauty and grandeur. A local TV channel sent their crew to click this ‘once a year’ grand view and this has been telecasted. I was in search of medicinal properties of this ‘saussurea obvallata’ usually called ‘salenicereus grandiflorus’. Thanks to Mrs. Vasundhara and Mr. Anilkumar for having broought this occasion to my investigative mine.

  • ankush kaith

    yeah thats a wonderful and glorious flower the bharamkamal i found it at shrikhand mahadev and kinner kailash.

  • rameshraju

    According to North Indian belief, Saussurea Obvallata, which is found in Uttarakhand is Brahma Kamal. According to South Indian belief Epiphyllum Oxypetallum (Orchid cactus), a common cactus is Brahma Kamal. According to a common Hindu belief, Lord Brahma sits on Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera) which means Kamal in Sanskrit.

  • G J K amble Nagpur

    What is shown to us is not Brahamkamal .It is night blooming cereus.A plant .commonly seen by many people ,who has much patience to see it in the mid night. seeing Brahamkamal makes a man rich is a myth and a statement of a lazy and a fool person . we have seen this cactus blooming in our house in the year 1994 in jalgaon .It was truly amazing and enjoying to see it blooming .This is nothing more than nature”s phenomenon.

  • I SAW A BRAHMA KAMAL ON 29th SEPT.2012 IN BHILAI.(ON PURNIMA NIGHT).IT WAS A WONDER OF NATURE.THE FLOWER WAS BIG AND THE LEAVES DO ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE CACTUS LEAVES.THE FLOWER HAD A SWEET FRAGRANCE.

    AJAY DHANUSKAR

  • Brahmkamal is given by my freind to me 3 years before with the help of our gardner nd the care taken by him we are the witness of such rear nd beatiful flower its realy amazing to witness such flower nd i m feeling lucky tht i accept tht plant from my friend.I am feeling very happy to witness such rear flower there r 3 flowers on 3 leaves.and yes i experienced the blossom of flower its wonderfull it blooms on 1 day bfore ‘Ganapati Visarjan’in my house.and its not the fact tht it blooms only at 12 but yes it blooms in midnight

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