Confusion about the Brahma Kamal flower

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Confusion about the Brahma Kamal flower. The Brahma Kamal, the much reverred flower of the Himalayas, is an excellent example of plant life at the upper limit of high mountains (3,000-4,600 m). The flowerheads are actually purple, but are enclosed in layers of greenish-yellow, papery, boat-shaped bracts. The flowers bloom at the height of the monsoons and abundant in high-altitude places like The Valley of Flowers. The bract-cover provides the warm space needed to bloom in the cold mountains. The flowers are used as offering in the hill temples, like the shrines of Badrinath. The thick curved root of the plant is applied to bruises and cuts, as part of local medicine. Brahma Kamal is the state flower of Uttarakhand. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.

Confusion about the Brahma Kamal flower

Common name: Brahma Kamal (Hindi) 
Botanical name: Saussurea obvallata    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

In Hindu drawings Brahma is seen sitting on a pink flower that is resembling lotus (Sanskrit:Kamal), which is Indian National flower. Hence people claim that the pink flower of Nelumbo nucifera to be Brahma Kamal. However others claim the flower on which he is sitting on, which resembles lotus is sprouted from belly button of Lord Vishnu. The flower which Bramha is holding in one of his four hands, a white flower resembling Saussurea obvallata is Bramha Kamal. There are people who claim that flower of Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Orchid Cactus), which blooms at night, to be Brahma kamal. Some North Indians claim that the flower of Saussurea obvallata to be Bramha Kamal.

The plant is considered a herb in Tibetan medicine. Its name is ཤཟའ བདྭད མཤ དཤྭ (Sah-du Goh-ghoo). It has a bitter taste. The entire plant is used. It is endangered because people are cutting it down for their own use. It is found in the region of the Himalayas. It is also used to cure uro-genital disorders

Saussurea obvallata is a species of flowering plant native to the Himalayas and Uttarakhand, India, Northern Burmaand South-West China. In Himalayas, it is found at an altitude of around 4500 m.[2] It is the state flower ofUttarakhand.[3] Saussurea obvallata is a Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1 ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Local name of this flowers is Brahmakamal, Kon and Kapfu.

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