Brahma Kamala- the divine flower

Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Dutchman’s Pipe, kardable, Night Queen or Nishagandhi or Gul-e-Bakawali) is a species of cactus and one of the most cultivated species in the genus. It is a variety of nightblooming Cereus and often confused with species of Selenicereus.

The above information is from the internet…

Well, whatever the flower is called I prefer calling it Brahmakamala as it is called here in Karnataka.

What is in a name anyway!!

Last year in September my maid brought a green leaf (big one- actually a stem) and asked me to plant it in a pot.

“A leaf?” I had asked. She had explained that it will grow and there will be many more and by June or July the plant will have beautiful large Brahmakamalas.

Okay that was a long wait. But I love plants – with or without flowers… 🙂

I treated the green leaf with equal love that I treated my other rose and flower bearing plants.

Soon I saw the leaf had become leaves. The entire pot was full of thick green leaves (stems) 🙂 I prefer calling them leaves…

In May I had been to my aunt’s house and outside her house I had seen the same plant. I had also seen some things dangling from the side of the leaf. I was told that they were buds…
Brahmakamala buds! I took some pictures on my mobile. I was a tad disappointed. Why didn’t my plant have any buds?

I sat near the pot and asked the plant the question. I wanted to see buds and then the flowers.

Well, my plant decided to please me… Somewhere in the second week of June I saw 5 buds small tiny pink ones. I was so excited I have no words…

If you observe the picture you will see a small pink bud on the right side stem…

Soon I started watching the buds grow. I didn’t miss a day… Finally on 2nd July (almost after 3 weeks) I saw 3 buds had become big and looked swollen…

My maid said that there were just a few more days to go before they bloomed.

At night before retiring I looked at those buds and wished they would bloom tomorrow as it was the 3rd of July and Guru Poornima.

On 3rd afternoon when I went on the terrace to check the buds I was extremely delighted to see the buds had become almost white. The pinkish coloured layers had all separated and I knew in my heart that in the evening my family and I would witness the brahmakamalas bloom.

In the evening I checked on the buds again and it had opened up just a little.

My kids were very excited too and happy that they were going to witness the brahmakamala bloom…

But we had not at all imagined that the experience would be so unique and fulfilling…

The buds half opened up into flowers by eight pm and we sat there witnessing nature revealing one of its miracles…

The flower white in colour with an intricate pattern inside of white threads with pollen… I had expected a large white flower but the beauty of the brahamkamala left us stunned.
Nature unravelling its beauty…The fragrance is another aspect…It is out of this world…

There is something about this flower which makes you feel extremely happy on seeing it. You have to exclaim “Oh wow!” It is that beautiful…

There are myths about the flower that it is considered auspicious. I believe the myth because 3 flowers bloomed in my house on 3rd July on the auspicious day of Guru Poornima…

What more could I ask for?

There are two more buds all set to bloom today and 2 more small ones which might take a couple of weeks…

All worth waiting…

The flowers will bloom only once a year between May to September….

The flower starts blooming after 7 pm and is in full bloom around 9 pm. By morning it droops completely.

After September the flowers will not bloom…no buds…only next year will the plant produce more brahmakamalas…

Sad? Well, No!

Am glad…’coz it’s worth the wait…just look at it!

In case you are wondering why there is so much grass growing along with the brahmakamala plant…

The grass is garike in kannada and dhruva in marathi…It is plucked and made into garlands for Lord Ganesha…

The garike decided to grow ( I did not plant it )along with the brahmakamala plant and who was I to object if Brahma and Ganesha decided to stay together in one pot?? I consider it as auspicious…


10 thoughts on “Brahma Kamala- the divine flower

  1. My daughter brought a leaf of Brahma Kamala from her friends house few months back.
    We planted it in a plant and watering it everyday.
    Even after few months, there is only one leaf. But, fortunately it is still green.
    Also, today we observed that small buds (2) have grown on the edge of the leaf.
    So, does it take very long time for it to grow from “leaf to leaves”?
    Will it grow in pot or do I need to plant it in ground “only”?

    Please share your experience.

    • The plant grows quite well in a pot. The leaves will grow from the existing leaf. Probably what you see as buds could be leaves growing… The bud will be light pink in colour and the flowering season is between May to September. When you see the buds please don’t touch or shake them as they are very delicate and will fall off. it is very strange but as the bud grows bigger on the side edge of the leaf, the leaf manages to bear the weight easily. The flower too is not very light. When you pluck the flower do it from the leaf edge itself. That way you will have the flower along with the stem.

      We need to water the plant and wait for the season to see the flowers. My maid had planted a single leaf last August. After a few months leaves grew from the leaf and I waited eagerly hoping to see a bud. I had to wait till June. that is almost 10 months. But it was worth the wait 🙂

      Good luck to you and I wish that the plant will bear many many flowers…


      • The 2 buds that have appeared now are pink in color.
        But, still it is very small to make out whether it is the bud of a flower or a leaf.
        Anyway, thanks for the encouraging words the wishes.


  2. Pingback: Flowers listen to you… | Naina Nair's Musings

  3. पहली बार देखे ब्रह्मकमल के पौद एवं फूल …अद्भुत है …

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