The Edelweiss plant (Leontopodium alpinum)
[Order Asterales, Family Asteraceae (formerly Compositae), Genus Leontopodium ], is found at high altitudes in the mountains of central and southeast Europe, Asia, and South America. A small alpine perennial composite herb with a composite flower. The Edelweiss flower has woolly-snow white floral leaves and small yellow disk flowers surrounded by silvery bracts. The floral leaves and the yellow disk flowers are located at the upper end of a long slender light green stem. This stem is may be as long as a twelve inches and has several green leaves along it's side. Several stems, sometimes as many as eight, grow upward from the cluster of long slender light green leaves of the main plant.
Facts & History
Edelweiss: the Noble White flower (from the German edel=noble, weiss=white)
The genus name means "lion's foot" and refers to the shape and woolly aspect of the flower.
The Edelweiss flower is highly regarded in the Alpine regions of Central Europe and is esteemed in parts of Europe as a symbol of purity.
Picking Edelweiss flowers in the wild is strictly forbidden because of the difficult survival conditions in the high mountains.
No flowers should be picked in the alpine and subalpine regions. In 1878 the governments of Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland and various Alpine Clubs met in Obwalden, Switzerland to find ways to protect the Edelweiss. The governments passed strict laws protecting the Edelweiss flower and prohibiting it's removal from the Alps. And in Switzerland the Edelweiss plant and flower is protected by Cannon and Federal law.
Grows best in sunny calcareous(limestone) grass slopes or in partial shade, but grows in rock fissures up to elevations of 2500 meters. The Edelweiss prefers alkaline light soil, but will grow in many soils that have good drainage. Flower size: from 2.5 to 10 cm.
Leontopodium himalaicum, L. sibiricum, L. japonicum, L. transilvanicum, and L. atlanticum. However, Leontopodium alpinum is the most beautiful and is the one most sought after for its beauty. Other popular Alpine flowers are the Gentian and the Alpenrose (Almrausch).
The Song: Edelweiss
First sung in the movie, "The Sound of Music" by Rodgers & Hammerstein
Du grüßt mich jeden Morgen,
Sehe ich dich,
Freue ich mich,
Und vergeß meine Sorgen.
Schmücke das Heimatland,
Schön und weiß,
Blühest wie die Sterne.
Ach, ich hab dich so gerne.
Every morning you greet me,
Small and white,
Clean and bright,
You look happy to meet me,
Blossom of snow,
May you bloom and grow,
Bloom and grow forever,
Bless my homeland forever.
Erherzog Johann Lied (Jodler)
Wo i' geh' und steh'|
Tut mir mei' Herz so weh
Um mei Steiermark, ja glaubt's ma's gwiss
Wo das Büchserl knallt
Und der Gamsbock fallt
Wo mei' liaba Herzog Johann is'
Wer die Gegend kennt
Click on Necklace
The Lübeck Haus Jewelry Department offers these links to a selection of jewelry featuring the Edelweiss Flower.
These Edelweiss jewelry selections are recommended for beginning your search.
Click on Edelweiss Jewelry for additional choices.
Planting & Growing Edelweiss
Lübeck Haus Bookstore
Storey Country Wisdom Bulletins