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Saussurea obvallata is a species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae. It is native from India to southwest China. In the Himalayas, it is found at an altitude of around 4500 m. It is the state flower of Uttarakhand.
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. Flowers bloom in mid-monsoon (July–August) amongst the rocks and grasses of the hillside at an altitudinal range of 3000–4800 m. Flower heads are purple, hidden from view in layers of yellowish-green papery bracts, which provide protection from the cold mountain environment. The flowers can be seen till mid-October, after which the above-ground portions of the plant die back, becoming visible again in April.
The Lotus of Brahma: The name of this flower can be translated to mean, 'The Lotus of Brahma'. Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe, is always depicted as sitting on a huge lotus and holding one in his hand. Another name for Lord Brahma is Kanja or the one born out of the water. So, schools of thought say that Brahma was born from the navel of Lord Vishnu while others say that he was born from a huge white lotus that we call the Brahma Kamal.
The Golden Lotus: When the Pandavas were in exile in the forests, Draupadi accompanied them. She was constantly tormented by painful memories of her insult in the Kaurava court. The hardships of a forest life also took its toll on her. One evening she saw a beautiful lotus float away in the stream. After she saw this 'golden' lotus bloom, she felt a strange happiness that was almost spiritual. But the lotus withered as quickly as it had bloomed. Draupadi sent her most devoted husband Bhima to look for it and on his quest for the flower he met Hanuman (Bhima's elder brother). As a lotus is usually pink, 'golden' may mean a shimmering 'white'.
- "Saussurea obvallata (DC.) Edgew". The Plant List. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Saussurea obvallata - Brahma Kamal". flowersofindia.net. 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).
- "Uttarakhand State Signs | Uttarakhand State Animal | Uttarakhand State Bird | Uttarakhand State Flower | Uttarakhand State Tree". uttaraguide.com. 2012. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
State Flower : Brahm Kamal
- Pant, Manu. "Saussurea obvallata (Brahmakamal)". Cite journal requires
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