What is Edelweiss?
Edelweiss Flower

Edelweiss graphic Edelweiss graphic
Canadian Edelweiss Growers
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What is Edelweiß?

Plant biology:

all the Edelweiss varieties Leontopodium alpinum is the most beautiful and sought after in the World.

Leontopodium or Lions foot, is originally a plant of the Steppe of Asia. Found there in more than 30 forms, it is well adapted to climatic extremes. Its deep fibrous roots and the felt like covering of its leaves protect it from drought, the ravages of winds and damaging radiation                   

The alpine Edelweiß, which in the German language means noble and white, is found at altitudes from 1700 meters to 2700 meters.
Edelweiss prefers calcareous light soils with excellent drainage and southern exposure, where it likes to form herbal mats, growing from 8 cm to 20 cm tall.

Edelweiss flowers are  short lived perennials, which after being picked during a number of growing seasons from the same plant, are unable to propagate by seeding and will disappear from an formerly established area.

Today climate change poses a real danger to Edelweiss. During longer growing seasons weedier plants in the changing high alpine environment crowd out such specialists.

Thome's Edelweiß

Edelweiss Flower

Mountain grown, selected with care and handcrafted in   British Columbia, Canada. 
Genuine Edelweiss Flowers

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"Flora von Deutschland, Östereich und der Schweiz"

Edelweiss-Extract & Soap

"The Sound of Music"


Cultural significance:

The Edelweiss flower has since time immemorial been valued as medicine against the ailments of men and their beasts, as powerful Talisman to ward off evil and of course as the
"Ultimate Love Charms" of the mountains.

Love struck young men would try to endear themselves by collecting Edelweiss from those hard to access crags and ledges in the High Alpine of Europe.
During these quests some died from falls, others succumbed to exposure, insufficiently prepared for sudden weather changes in the high mountains.

Dozens  perished in just one season!
The danger wrought exercise of collecting such a bouquet proved in those days that the suitor was brave, able-bodied and serious in his intentions. A mixing of flowers and machismo rarely seen in western culture.

That is one of the reasons why men still decorate themselves with this bloom and wear it like a:

"Medal of Honor".
Edelweiß for my Girlfriend

Careful Franzl!

"Flower of Emperors and Kings"

It never hurt the
"Silver stars" fame to be the favorite alpine flower of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef (1864 to 1916) and that of his beautiful wife's Empress Elizabeth (1837 to 1898) who, fondly nicknamed "Sisi", beloved by all people,   had her live shortened by an  Assassin.                                                               

German Kaiser Wilhelm I was a great fan, also King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1864 to 1886) the builder of romantic Neuschwanstein Castle.
The latter adored the Edelweiss and was often depicted with the plant.

Protected in the wild.

At the International Conference of Alpine Clubs in Obwalden, Switzerland (1878) in conjunction with the governments of Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Italy, the Edelweiss was protected in a large part of the European Alps where it had already disappeared along the more popular hiking and climbing routes.

>>> Continued >>>
Edelweiß und Kaiserin Elisabeth von Östereich

Elizabeth of Austria
Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Kunsthistorisches Museum,
Vienna, Austria.

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