Brahmakamal Flower in full bloom (Photo Courtesy: Neerad Trivedi)
Brahmakamal Flower in full bloom (Photo Courtesy: Neerad Trivedi)

Celestial Beauty!!

19 Brahmakamal Flowers (Photo Courtesy: Neerad Trivedi)
19 Brahmakamal Flowers (Photo Courtesy: Neerad Trivedi)

It gives me an ecstatic feeling as I write this. Recently, my husband and I woke up to 19 Brahmakamal flowers in our garden. These beautiful flowers bloomed just over a night on a single plant.

You would wonder what is the fuss about Brahmakamals. Well, here’s the deal, the Brahmakamal is not a lotus at all, although its petals resemble a lotus. Lotuses grow in ponds, whereas the Brahmakamal grows on the slopes of the Himalayas (It is the state flower of Uttarakhand).  The original Brahmakamal looks quite different from the one that blooms here in the city. The botanical name for this flower is Dutchman’s Pipe. It belongs to the cactus family of Epiphyllum oxypetalum.

 

You can see these beautiful flowers in your very garden. Here’s how:

Brahmakamal Flower in full bloom (Photo Courtesy: Neerad Trivedi)
Brahmakamal Flower in full bloom (Photo Courtesy: Neerad Trivedi)

To grow the plant, a leaf is planted in the soil (and not a seedling or stem). The leaf then multiplies and becomes a plant to a height of about 4 to 5 feet. If the pot is small, the plant doesn’t grow too big. However, in large pots or open ground space, it spreads well. The plant flowers only once a year and that makes it special and unique. It usually blooms in early monsoon and best when kept in semi shaded places. The flower itself is around 4-5 inches in diameter and has a lovely fragrance. It is also interesting to see that this flower stems out from the leaf. Flowers start blooming around 8 pm and fully blossom by midnight, they remain so till around 5 am before they close.

We can preserve it in refrigerator for a couple of days if we pluck it and put it in an airtight container. That’s what one of the aunts suggested could be done. However, we did not have the heart to do so. We simply dotted over it till late night and even called all our friends to cherish its beauty.

 

Author: Sheetal Vaidya
Sheetal is a avid gardener and traveler who does corporate training, counselling and healing. She blogs at sohaminlife.org.

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