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Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

Watch it closely, one night of careless sleep and you won’t see it for the next few years. Saussurea obvallata, commonly known as Brahma Kamal, is one of the most mystical and beautiful flowers on the planet. It comes to life only once in a couple of years and its bloom lasts for a couple of hours although legend has it that it only blooms once in 14 years. Its a magical flower isn’t it?

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Image: Flickr

The name Brahma Kamal has its origins in Indian mythology. Brahma, the Indian God of Creation holds a lotus flower in one of his four hands and he also sits in a lotus, the national flower of India. Quite contrary to its appearance, the Brahma Kamal is not a lotus but a type of cactus.

The flower only blooms at night and has a spell bounding fragrance because it is in a hurry to attract its pollinators at night. The phenomenon, often described as spiritual and sacred, takes place around July and August.

flower
Image: Flickr

Generally found in the Himalayas, the flower has numerous name, Queen of the Night, Lady of the evening, Night Blooming Cereus. It is also the state flower of the Indian state, Uttarakhand.

In India, the Brahma Kamal is believed to be a sacred plant. It’s such a rarity to see the flower that rumours has it that the one who sees the flower bloom will have all of his wishes come true. The flower is also believed to bring luck and prosperity to the house where it blooms.

Apart from its beauty and grace, Brahma Kamal also has use in medicine. In Tibetan medicine, it is used as a medicinal herb.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

If you are hyped to have this magnificent plant in your kitchen garden, the plant grows from cuttings and must be planted before winter. Cold weather is best suited for its optimal growth. Use highly fertile soil and water the plant once in two-three days. It’s a cactus, you really wouldn’t wanna end up it being dead from waterlogging.

And the last and the most important thing is to keep an eye on it, especially at night around 10 pm. Make sure you wouldn’t miss the magical phenomenon. It’s hard work for sure, but then that adds up to its rarity and exclusivity and makes it even more gorgeous than it appears to be!