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If you believe a simple bud picked from the ground to be one of nature's humbler gifts, we're about to prove you wrong! The Kadupul flower, Sri Lanka's native blossom, is said to be the world's most expensive flower.Why? Because it's priceless!
This floral specie is so expensive; it bares no price tag in contrast to other beautiful flowers. The reason for this is because the moment it is picked, it quite often dies . Due to its cactus roots, each and every Kadupul flower has an extremely short lifespan and is only able to survive the night, before it fades to nothing at dawn. Despite this, the Kadupul's fragrance is celebrated worldwide for its calming qualities. Unfortunately, the only way to experience this flower's wonderful scent is to buy a bottle of Kadupul-inspired perfume, and unless you're extremely lucky, most will never have the chance to revel in its soothing fragrance – which is also known as the midnight miracle. Often nicknamed the Flower from the Heaven, the Queen of the Night or the Dutchman's pipe, this species of cactus is one of the most cultivated kinds in the genus.
The flower itself boasts a beautiful hue of white and yellow and grows to a maximum height of 30 centimetres. Kadupul's scientific name is Epiphyllum oxypetalum and asides from Sri Lanka, it can also be found in certain Indian and South American countries. Although its natural habitat is the tropical rain forest; it is now being grown in a few ornamental gardens dotted around the globe. The flowers of the Kadupul tend to start blooming between 10pm to 11pm, prolonging this process for two hours. Once all of the buds are revealed, the flowers release a sweet fragrance and tend to bloom on a monthly basis, on full moon days. In total, one shrub can emit an impressive 100 flowers.
Today, you can find two species of Kadupul in Sri Lanka. These include Epiphyllum hookeri, which boasts a series of thin Petals with leaves measuring up to two metres and Epiphyllum oxypetalum, which have broader petals measuring between 30 and 40 centimetres.
The cultivation of this plant varies. All in all, the flower can be grown extremely easily as a terrestrial or a clinging plant. However, as it only blooms at certain times, it's one of the rarest flowers in the world. It usually resides in the forks of large trees, where decayed particles of bark and moisture offer a rich and protective base. The plant's leaves are leathery in style, a little wider than the Vanda orchid, but not as large as those found on the cactus. It's an ancient myth that when the flowers of the Kadupul bloom, the Nagas come down from their heavenly homes to present florae to the Buddha on the Holy Mountain of Sri Pada. Today, both tourists and locals flock to Sri Pada, to witness the rare sight of the Kadapul's bloom.
Time-lapse of Kadupul Flower
Can you think of any flowers that may compare to the Kadupul for beauty and expense? We'd love to know your thoughts.