King of Himalayan Flowers – Saussurea Obvulata
Saussureaobvallata is a native plant species to Uttarakhand Himalaya at an altitude of around 4500 m. It belongs to the Angiospermic family Asteraceae. After the formation of Uttarakhand it is declared as the state flowerof Uttarakhand and locally known as Brahma Kamal. It is generally distributed at an altitudinal range of 3000–4800 m. amongst the rocks and grasses.
Botanically plant is a small perennial herb growing up to 60 cm high. Stems erect, ribbed, h
ollow, usually purplish to reddish brown. Leaves are both basal and cauline; basal leaves are rosulate, petiolate, elliptic-spathulate or lanceolateand sheathing at base. Inflorescences with 2 to many discoid capitula, terminal, enclosed by creamy white or pale yellow involucriform bracts. Florets are bisexual. Corolla is tubular with linear-lanceolate lobes, bluish purple or violet. Cypselae are oblong or obovoid with white pappus, pale creamy, brown or greyish.The plant is considered sacred and used to decorate the temples in festive occasions like ‘Savan-Janmasthami’.The inflorescences and the flowers are offered to local deities, Goddess Ganga and Lord Shiva. Medicinally plant and plant parts used in several diseases. The roots are applied to cure cuts and wounds. Floral buds and roots are used as medicines in leucoderma, urinary troubles, bone fractures, wounds, bone pain, cough and cold, hydrocele, reproductive disorder and digestive problems. Whole plant is used as veterinary medicine in haematuria. The dried powder or paste of the plant is used in the treatment of skin diseases.