The Mystic Queen of the Night: Kadupul Flowers
Deviyo diva malin
Asurasen sith palolin
Diva Nai kadupulin
Nithin puda dethi Tilo Munidun”
“They worship him thus
The gods with Heavenly flowers
The Asuras with the Sith Palol flowers The Nagas with Kadupul”*
Filling the night air with one-of-its-own-kind soft yet striking fragrance, the blooms of Kadupul unfold. Embracing and reveling you in the beauty that took one year! While you stand there mesmerized, not knowing what to do as you watch nature’s one of the rarest and most beautiful incident before your eyes, it starts to wilt.
The beauty of Kadupul and its tragic as well as poignant lifecycle can turn even a blogger into a poet. It takes about a year to bloom its flowers and they cannot even survive even one hour. By dawn, the flowers are dead. This also makes them the most expensive flowers in the world because we aren’t even sure whether they are going to bloom or not, and even if they do, they are withered before you are able to pick it and are of no good as soon as they are snipped from the stem.
Kadapul or Epiphyllum oxypetalum was originated in Sri Lanka, and there are two types of Kadapul available in the area. Epiphyllum hookeri, with noticeable thin petals and the second type is Epiphyllum oxypetalum that has broad petals. And we are talking here about the latter, which is certainly the more beautiful version of the family.
The little twig grows to five inches before it grows a bud. In November to March, the bud grows to be a tender, ethereal and pleasant kadapul flowers. As the flower sways to the night breeze, it looks like a white lily.
Despite being terrestrial plant, the flowers are epiphytic in nature, implying that they need big trees and their protective bark to grow strong.
It is strange that the flower is a species of Cactus family, an almost impossible thing to believe given its gorgeous beauty. It is also one of the most cultivated species in its genus.
Blooming Time of Kadapul Flowers:
Full moon days during November to March.
- In Sri Lanka, Kadapul is considered to be the legendary flower, associated with Nagas. It is said to be a flower descended from heavens, and when it blooms, it is believed that Nagas come on Earth from their heavenly abodes to pay homage with it to Lord Buddha, who is meditating on the holy mountains of Sri Pada. The blooming season of the flower coincides with the pilgrimage season of Sri Pada, lending belief to the whole story.
- It was originated from Sri Lanka but the mythology of Japan, India and China also mentions them. In India, it is referred to as Brahma Kamal, a flower that is named after the creator of the Universe, Brahma. It is said that every wish is fulfilled during the blooming season of the flower. In Japan, it is known as Gekka Bijin, which can be translated to ‘Beauty under the moon.’
- Chinese people show their sense of humor and term the flower as ‘flash in a pan,’ for their short-lived moments of fame and bloom, while taking an entire year to prepare for it!
- It can bloom up to 100 flowers per shrub!
- The other names for flowers are Queen of the night and Flower from the Moon.
- It is not limited to its origin alone and can be cultivated in South American countries having warmer climates. Also cultivated and cultured in areas of Brazil, Mexico, Texas, Venezuela, California and India as well.
- There are some versions of synthetic Kadapul-inspired perfumes available in the market! The fragrance of Kadapul flowers is due to benzyl salicylate and it is possible to formulate it. But sad, nothing comes close to what Kadapul’s calming and heavenly fragrance is all about.
- World’s Most Expensive Flower
It is a flower that cannot be purchased. It doesn’t come with a price tag. It is one of the nature’s gifts, which is accessible for all and out of reach, at the same time! It can’t be a prized possession for anyone in particular and you all can still have it! All you have to do is to just be there and explore this rare beauty unfolding only to meet its destiny of starting its journey again to meet its creator.
*Poem Text Courtesy: Lanka Library