The Edelweiss flower has been depicted in countless graphics (see our Bavarian Bistro trailer), decals, hat pins, souvenirs and other what-have-yous. Remember the show tune “Edelweiss” from the musical “The Sound of Music”? Here are a few real Edelweiss pictures and some basic info on this best-known European mountain flower…
A member of the sunflower family, its name comes from the German words edel (noble) and weiss (white). The Leontopodium alpinum prefers rocky lime stone areas at 6,000 – 8,000 feet altitude. The Edelweiss blooms between July and September.
Each bloom consists of five to six small yellow flower heads surrounded by leaflets in star form. The flower is covered by fine, white hairs for protection against cold, aridity and UV radiation. It is non-toxic and has been traditionally considered as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases.
- The Edelweiss flower is protected in most countries where it grows.
- It’s the unofficial national flower of Switzerland
- Swiss generals wear Edelweiss instead of stars
- During the Third Reich, anti-Nazi youth groups wore Edelweiss badges
For a number of interesting and entertaining tidbits about our beautiful mountain flower, click on this link:
I would like to thank my good German friend, Hans Braxmeier, for his generous permission to use his amazing pictures in this post. If you can read in German, his mountain travel reports may give you great pleasure. The fabulous photographs are definitely worth a visit. Go to Hans on PageWizz!