From Gardenology.org - Plant Encyclopedia and Gardening wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Edelweiss (disambiguation).
Fossil range: {{{fossil_range}}}
Plant Info
Common name(s): {{{common_names}}}
Growth habit: {{{growth_habit}}}
Height: {{{high}}}
Width: {{{wide}}}
Lifespan: {{{lifespan}}}
Exposure: {{{exposure}}}
Water: {{{water}}}
Features: {{{features}}}
Poisonous: {{{poisonous}}}
Hardiness: {{{hardiness}}}
USDA Zones: {{{usda_zones}}}
Sunset Zones: {{{sunset_zones}}}
Scientific classification
Domain: {{{domain}}}
Superkingdom: {{{superregnum}}}
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: {{{subregnum}}}
Superdivision: {{{superdivisio}}}
Superphylum: {{{superphylum}}}
Division: Magnoliophyta
Phylum: {{{phylum}}}
Subdivision: {{{subdivisio}}}
Subphylum: {{{subphylum}}}
Infraphylum: {{{infraphylum}}}
Microphylum: {{{microphylum}}}
Nanophylum: {{{nanophylum}}}
Superclass: {{{superclassis}}}
Class: Magnoliopsida
Sublass: {{{subclassis}}}
Infraclass: {{{infraclassis}}}
Superorder: {{{superordo}}}
Order: Asterales
Suborder: {{{subordo}}}
Infraorder: {{{infraordo}}}
Superfamily: {{{superfamilia}}}
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: {{{subfamilia}}}
Supertribe: {{{supertribus}}}
Tribe: {{{tribus}}}
Subtribe: {{{subtribus}}}
Genus: Leontopodium
Subgenus: {{{subgenus}}}
Section: {{{sectio}}}
Series: {{{series}}}
Species: L. alpinum
Subspecies: {{{subspecies}}}
Binomial name
Leontopodium alpinum
Cass., 1822
Trinomial name
Type Species

Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum), one of the best-known European mountain flowers, belongs to the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The name comes from German edel (meaning noble) and weiß (meaning white). The scientific name, Leontopodium means "lion's paw", being derived from Greek words leon (lion) and podion (diminutive of pous, foot).

Flowering stalks of edelweiss can grow to a size of 3-20 cm (in cultivation, up to 40 cm). The leaves appear woolly because of the covering of white hairs. The flowers are felted and woolly with white hairs, with characteristic bloom consisting of five to six small yellow flower heads (5 mm) surrounded by leaflets in star form. The flowers are in bloom between July and September. It is unequally distributed and prefers rocky limestone places at 2000-2900 m altitude. It is not toxic, and has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases.

Edelweiss is a protected plant in many countries, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Spain (Ordesa National Park), Slovakia (Tatra National Park), Slovenia (since 1898), Austria (since 1886) and Romania (since 1933).

It usually grows in inaccessible places, which is why it is associated in Slovenia with mountaineering. Its white colour is considered in Switzerland a symbol of purity and due to its beauty, it obtained its Romanian name, floarea reginei (Queen's flower).

Symbolic uses

  • On the Austrian euro coins, a picture of Edelweiss is used on the two-euro-cent coins.
  • On the Romanian 50 Lei banknote.
  • Edelweiss Society
  • In Austria, Edelweiß is also a brand of beer named after the flower.
  • Edelweiss is the unofficial national flower of Switzerland.
  • It appears in the logos of both the German and Austrian alpine societies.
  • In its bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics the city of Salzburg uses an Edelweiss flower like the emblem.[1]
  • Edelweiss Air, an international airline based in Switzerland, is named after the flower, which also appears in its logo.
  • Edelweiss is a theme and song ("Edelweiss") in the musical and movie The Sound of Music, which takes place in Austria.
  • "Bring me Edelweiss" is the best-known song of the music group Edelweiss.
  • The Edelweiss was established 1907 as the sign of the Austrian-Hungarian alpine troops by Emperor Franz Joseph I. These original 3 Regiments wore their edelweiss on the collar of their uniform. During World War I (1915) the Edelweiss was granted to the German alpine troops, for their bravery. Today it's still the sign of the Austrian and German alpine troops.
Established 1907 by the Austrian-Hungarian Army for their alpine troops, the sign was used in WWII by the Wehrmacht Gebirgsjäger - here as Edelweiss cap badge.
  • Edelweiss was a badge of Edelweiss Pirates (Edelweisspiraten) -- the anti-Nazi youth groups in Third Reich. It was worn on the clothes (eg. a blouse or a suit).
  • The Edelweiss flower was the symbol of Wehrmacht Gebirgsjäger, or mountain troops, worn as a metal pin on the left side of the mountain cap, on the band of the service dress cap, and as a patch on the right sleeve.
  • The rank insignia of Swiss generals has Edelweiss signs instead of stars. A Korpskommandant for example (equivalent to a Lieutenant General in other countries) wears three Edelweiss signs on his collar instead of three stars.
  • This flower appears prominently in the comic book adventure Asterix in Switzerland where the protagonists attempt to procure an Edelweiss for its use in an antidote.
  • The flower is also known as the mark of a true soldier to militaries that live in the regions where it grows.[citation needed]


External links


[7] Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald 1984 ISBN 0-356-10541-5 Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.

[200] Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press 1992 ISBN 0-333-47494-5 Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Personal tools
Bookmark and Share