Saussurea obvallata

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"Brahma Kamal" redirects here. For the night-flowering species of cactus, see Nightblooming cereus.
Saussurea obvallata
Brahma Kamal.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Species: S. obvallata
Binomial name
Saussurea obvallata
(DC.) Edgew.[1]

Saussurea obvallata is a species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae. It is native to the Himalayas and Uttarakhand, India, northern Burma and southwest China. In the Himalayas, it is found at an altitude of around 4500 m.[2] It is the state flower of Uttarakhand.[3] Saussurea obvallata is a perennial growing to 0.3 m (1 ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. Local names of this flower are Brahma Kamal, Kon and Kapfu.

Confusion about the Brahma Kamal flower[edit]

In Hindu drawings Brahma is seen sitting on a pink flower that resembles a lotus (Sanskrit: कमल), which is India's national flower. Hence people claim that the pink flower of Nelumbo nucifera is the Brahma Kamal. However others claim the flower on which he is sitting, which resembles a lotus is sprouted from the belly button of Lord Vishnu. The flower which Brahma is holding in one of his four hands, a white flower resembling Saussurea obvallata is the Brahma Kamal. There are people who claim that the flower of Epiphyllum oxypetalum, the orchid cactus, which blooms at night, is the Brahma Kamal. Some North Indians claim that the flower of Saussurea obvallata is the Brahma Kamal.

Culinary use[edit]

Brahma kamal is a medicinal herb. The plant is considered an herb in Tibetan medicine. Its name is ཤཟའ བདྭད མཤ དཤྭ (Sah-du Goh-ghoo). It has a bitter taste. The entire plant is used. It is endangered because people are cutting it down for their own use. It is found in the region of the Himalayas. It is also used to cure urogenital disorders.[4]


  1. ^ "Saussurea obvallata (DC.) Edgew.". The Plant List. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Saussurea obvallata - Brahma Kamal". 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. Brahma Kamal, the much reverred flower of the Himalayas, is an excellent example of plant life at the upper limit of high mountains (3,000-4,600 m). 
  3. ^ "Uttarakhand State Signs | Uttarakhand State Animal | Uttarakhand State Bird | Uttarakhand State Flower | Uttarakhand State Tree". 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. State Flower : Brahm Kamal 
  4. ^ Kala, C.P. 2010. Medicinal plants of Uttarakhand. BioTech Books, Delhi. 188 pp

External links[edit]