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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Brahma Kamal/ Saussurea obvallata

New Growth of Leaf in Brahma Kamal Plant
 The Brahma Kamal plant is very rare and has been declared as rare species amongst plants. This is commonly known as Brahma Kamal but it really is a variety of cactus. Commonly termed as Saussurea obvallata. Also named night blooming Phyllocactus Many people have this plant for religious purposes. There is a belief that the one who gets to the blooming of flower in this plant is very lucky. And I really do hope even I get to see the bloom of my brahma kamal plant.
Also known as Epiphyllum oxypetalum plant, Queen of the Night,  Duchman's Pipe,  Night blooming Cereus. With so many names it is a beautiful plant with green elongated leaves. This plant has some medicinal properties also which I have not personally used, but read about. Also some say the flowers are edible and especially people mention about the sweet heavenly fragrance of the Brahma Kamal  flowers.
The Brahma Kamal Plant
My experience with this plant goes back to when I viewed the flowers of this plant at my neighbour's. It is really a very spiritual, surreal experience. They had two flowers and I witnessed the full bloomed flower which was of white colour.The size of the brahma kamal flower is approximately the size of our palm.
Right since then the search began to find this plant for my garden. On inquiring from them I came to know that it had bloomed after some years. It is known that the flowers bloom at night say from evening and remains open only till the next morning. The wait is so long but the blooms are definitely worth the wait.
I have read that this Brahma Kamal plant blooms after five years, some say seven some say one but some mention that after purchasing the plant they have seen blooms after six months or even 6 weeks!. I think the age of the plant is very important for flowering and just like other plants that flower after maturing to an age of one year till five years even this plant may have a certain age for flowering.
I was unable to grow with cuttings and even one  garden aunty, as I called her gave me a Brahma Kamal plant. This plant took growth spurt but then fell into quiet for some months. I planted this in another pot but to no benefit.I purchased another Brahma Kamal plant and also planted this with the same. My trials for growing the brahma kamal did not end here. I took a small ceramic pot and planted a small plant in this. Finally I am at rest, no sight of it getting the growth spurt. It is alive but guess my cajoling, singing, music and spanking all was of no use. Wonder when this plant will get the growth spurt. All the plants are planted in one pot and left to its own fate.
This plant can be grown by cuttings or small baby plants of the mother plant. You can purchase it from a nursery or request for cuttings from anyone who has this beautiful plant. Since this plant has tentacles like leaves and looks quite ugly and shapeless the form can be controlled by cutting some leaves to encourage growth. Cutting is required after blooming of flowers as this will encourage fresh growth.
Fresh leaves come out of the original leaves and growth can be seen from side of leaves.
For starting new plants take the cuttings and let it dry for some days. This is very necessary to let the edges of the leaf heal. Once during the rainy season I had seen that this plant started developing roots from the leaf that dipped in the water of another pot. So this plant can also grow in water and in fact I think before planting a leaf cutting one can start the growth by placing the tip of the leaf in water.
Also needs feeding regularly for encouraging blooming. I have viewed so many pictures on the web about people who have posted good news of flowering of the Brahma Kamal.  

I have tried putting it in shade, direct sunlight, rains ..still am waiting! Journey of patience and hope continues...Hope to post the good news ...
Tips: Guess it does not like to be re-potted frequently. Let it be when once the growth spurt starts and do not move it even if the pot seems very small. The Brahma Kamala plant  definitely likes to be root bound so plant it in a smaller pot.
I have read that watering has to be kept at minimum , maybe this part also I have to take care since I can't help watering it along with other plants. Try to avoid placing it in direct sunlight as the leaves burn and plant may suffer. All The Best you will need it if you want to grow this plant!


  1. You seem to be mixing two plants.

    Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Dutchman's Pipe, a night blooming cereus), is a species of cactus native to Sri Lanka.

    Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata), native to the Himalayas, northern Burma and south-west China, belongs to the daisy family, and is the state flower of Uttar Pradesh, India.

  2. Thanks for the info. Yes I am aware of the fact that the original Brahma Kamal is seen only in Himalayas,and also that the Epiphyllum Oxypetalum is different plant but usually many common people and friends in India name this plant as Brahma Kamal so I have to let in.
    And well I am not an qualified horticulturist just an ordinary hobbyist going on a long journey with my family of terrace plants!
    Yes and please if you can give some tips for flowering , it would be great help.

  3. grt...hope i get the cutting of ths plant , soon...had it earlier...

  4. yes hope u get a cutting soon. All the Best.did you see the flowering?

  5. Where can I get this plant in the US? Would anybody like to share? Thanks.

    1. Hi Kalai, Thanks for dropping by my blog Garden Care Simplified.
      In the US This is mostly grown as Christmas or holiday cactus, I think.
      You may inquire in the local nursery or some neighbor who has the plant growing,they will be happy to share a cutting.
      I wish I could help ,there are so many plants and their cuttings which I have to throw after trimming and dead heading.I am not familiar how to send plants by post or courier or would be most obliged to share my plant cuttings and give them a new home.

  6. right link sorry

  7. Wow Jose , great Thanks ya.Great link. too good

  8. Hi,

    May i know from where i ll get this plant in Brahma kamal in Mumbai. I am trying since many days to get this plant sapling but have failed to get . Please help. Thanks

  9. Kanayo Tilokchandani, welcome to garden care Simplified! This plant is available in many plant nurseries in Mumbai and Thane. It is know as Brahma Kamal plant and am sure you will find one, just check out your neighborhood gardeners also they may be willing to share some cuttings, put cuttings in water first and allow root growth and then plant it, All the Best from Rizwana!

  10. Thank u Rizwana today I managed to get 2plants from a nursery here in badlapur and I m so excited to begin this journey. Thank u once again tc

  11. wow , lucky you Kanayo , what a lovely share, am also excited , do keep sharing!
    Hope your plants grow healthy and you also get to see the lovely blooms! All the Best from Rizwana!

    1. thanks alot for ur wishes Rizwana. i ll keep you posted.

  12. hellow r u? A very long time. My Brahmakamal bloomed in oct16, i was looking for this post but culdnt find it, today luckily got this.... its d most beautiful flower so far only twice it has bloomed.

    1. Wow! Your Brahma kamal plant bloomed! Awesum!Kanayo Tilokchandani! My plants have picked up growth since I shifted them from terrace to window sill. Thanks for sharing this happiness! You are lucky to see the blooms! All the Best from Rizwana!

  13. We have this plant..!! In USA, 5 ft nice green long leaves...!! Keep plant out of direct sun..!! Must keep soil fertile & rocky..!! Minimum watering with drain soiled..!! Older stem & leaves produce flower , as plant gets aged it will keep flowering every year, flower booms after sun goes away & through night, nice perfume kinda smell..!! Beautiful white slightly pinkish flower
    From cutting older leaves you can grow new plant but make sure very good drained soil & minimum water good enough to just keep moisture in soil, make sure cut planted leave do not move with wind or movement by pot will see leaves growth started after 3 weeks..!!
    Plant gets older & blooms more...!! So always cut from top & only new leaves..!!

  14. WOW! Simple home gardener, you have made this so simple! Thanks a lot for sharing this info. After struggling for many years, now my plants are growing on window sill. Hope someday I get to see the blooms! Thank you for coming by! All the Best from Rizwana!

  15. Hi rizwana,
    feeling very lucky to find your blog, i also have a brahamkamal plant but unfortunately it got damage when we shifted to a new place and change the pot , and now it is been almost a year our plant is not growing.please suggest somthing which make my plant healthy again. if need to change the soil ,pot or mix somthing in soil plz suggest.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Soniya Sharma, hi,oh yes , it does not like to be repotted,. What I have learned so far - 1)morning sunlight for few hoyrs 2) rich soil, add layers of cowdung or feedings you use at time of planting, 3) water carefully, only when top soil looks dry, 4) well draining soil 5) the leaves must get a firm rooting, if the look lanky means the plant has not taken well to the soil. the Brahma Kamal plant, is Awesum it has a Magical element! I am still waiting to see the blooms.Though it is a blessing that the plants are at least growing, I wish you all the Best Soniya, try to plant some cuttings of leaves separately also, some new plants may also come up, as sometimes there is risk of losing the parent plant while transplanting.Hope this helps!

  16. What kind of soil . Sunlight and water is required for bramhakamal

    1. soil has to be healthy rich and strong. I had thought it needed more rocks but Brahma kamal need firm soil to hold the large tentacles of this plant.


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