Saussurea obvallata

Botanical Name : Saussurea obvallata
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Species: S. obvallata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names; Local names of this flower are Brahma Kamal, Kon and Kapfu .

Habitat : Saussurea obvallata is native to E. Asia – western Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim at elevations of 3,000 – 4,500 metres. It grows on alpine meadows and slopes, rocky slopes
and along the sides of rivers and streams.

Description:
Saussurea obvallata is a perennial plant, 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 plant perishes, becoming visible again in April. It is the state
flower of Uttarakhand. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist
soil.

In Hindu drawings Brahma is seen sitting on a pink flower that resembles a lotus (Sanskrit: kamal), 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.

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Cultivation: 
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny well-drained position.

Propagation :
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame in the spring. Surface sow, or only just cover the seed, and make sure that the compost does not dry   out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring    after the last expected frosts. Division in spring might be possible.

Medicinal Uses:
Brahma kamal is a medicinal herb. The plant is considered an herb in Tibetan medicine. Its name is Sah-du Goh-ghoo. It has a bitter taste. The entire plant is used. It is found in the region
of the Himalayas. It is also used to cure urogenital disorders. It is used in the treatment of paralysis of the limbs and cerebral ischaemia.

Other Uses:
Uttarakhand formerly Uttaranchal, is a state located in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods – Dev Bhumi due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found      throughout the state which are some of Hinduism’s most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship. The shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath make up     the Char Dham Yatra, four highly sacred destinations of the Hindus. Uttarakhand also known for its natural beauty.

Known Hazards: It is endangered because people are cutting it down for their own use.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with     your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelesperma_megapotamicum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thelesperma+megapotamicum

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