Many people said that edelweiss is the symbol of everlasting love.
Leontopodium nivale, commonly called edelweiss, is a well-known mountain flower, belonging to the Asteraceae (daisy or sunflower family).
The plant prefers rocky limestone places at about 1,800–3,000 metres (5,900–9,800 ft) altitude. It is non-toxic, and has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases. The dense hair appears to be an adaptation to high altitudes, protecting the plant from cold, aridity, and ultraviolet radiation. As a scarce, short-lived flower found in remote mountain areas, the plant has been used as a symbol for alpinism, for rugged beauty and purity associated with the Alps and Carpathians, and as a national symbol, especially of Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, and Switzerland. According to folk tradition, giving this flower to a loved one is a promise of dedication.
The flower's common name derives from the German word "Edelweiß", which is a compound of edel "noble" and weiß "white."
Edelweiß was one of several regional names for the plant and entered wide usage during the first half of the 19th century, in the context of early Alpine tourism.Alternative names include Chatzen-Talpen ("cat's paws"), and the older Wullbluomen ("wool flower," attested in the 16th century).
The scientific name is a latinisation of the Greek leontopódion, "lion's paw."
|Close-up of flower.|
|Kingdom:||Plantae||Since 1822, Leontopodium has no longer been considered part of the Gnaphalium genus,|
|Clade:||Angiosperms||but classified alongside it as a distinct genus within the Gnaphalieae tribe.In 2003,|
|Clade:||Eudicots||Leontopodium alpinum was re-classified as a subspecies of Leontopodium nivale.|
|Order:||Asterales||Thus, the alpine edelweiss is currently|
|Family:||Asteraceae||recognized as being divided into two subspecies,|
|Genus:||Leontopodium||Leontopodium nivale subsp. alpinum (Cass.) Greuter and Leontopodium nivale subsp.|
(Ten.) Huet ex Hand.-Mazz.
In Berthold Auerbach's novel Edelweiss (1861), the difficulty for an alpinist to acquire an edelweiss flower was exaggerated to the point of claiming: "the possession of one is a proof of unusual daring." This idea at the time was becoming part of the popular mythology of early alpinism. Auerbach's novel appeared in English translation in 1869, prefaced with a quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:
- "There is a flower known to botanists, one of the same genus with our summer plant called 'Life-Everlasting', a Gnaphalium like that, which grows on the most inaccessible cliffs of the Tyrolese mountains, where the chamois dare hardly venture, and which the hunter, tempted by its beauty and by his love (for it is immensely valued by the Swiss maidens), climbmivas the cliffs to gather, and is sometimes found dead at the foot, with the flower in his hand. It is called by botanists the Gnaphalium leontopodium, but by the Swiss EDELWEISS, which signifies NOBLE PURITY."
- Before 1914
- in the Swiss army, the highest ranks (brigadier general and higher) have badges in the form of edelweiss flowers, where other military branch badges would have stars
- The edelweiss was established in 1907 as the sign of the Austrian-Hungarian alpine troops by Emperor Franz Joseph I. These original three 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 is still the insignia of the Austrian, Polish, Romanian, and German alpine troops
- World Wars era
- The song Stelutis alpinis (Friulian for "Little edelweisses"), written by Arturo Zardini when he was an evacuee due to World War I, is now considered the unofficial anthem of Friuli
- The song Es War Ein Edelweiss was written by Herms Niel for soldiers during World War II
- The edelweiss was a badge of the Edelweiss Pirates: the anti-Nazi youth groups in the Third Reich. It was worn on the clothes (e.g., a blouse or a suit)
- The edelweiss flower was the symbol of Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger, or mountain rangers, 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. It is still the symbol of the mountain brigade in the German army today
- The World War II Luftwaffe unit, Kampfgeschwader 51 (51st Bomber Wing) was known as the Edelweiss Wing
- The edelweiss is represented as the favorite flower of Adolf Hitler's, in the recording "Adolf Hitlers Lieblingsblume ist das schlichte Edelweiß" (1934), sung by Harry Steier.
- After 1945
- The edelweiss flower is a common symbol worn by today's United States Army's 1st Battalion 10th Special Forces Group Airborne Soldiers. The 1-10th SFG(A) Soldiers adopted the symbol under the command of (Ret.) Col. Aaron Banks after they occupied the former Waffen SS officer school (Junkerschule) at Flint Kaserne
- A song entitled "Edelweiss" was written for Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The Sound of Music (1959)
- Since 2002, the Austrian two cent coin has depicted an edelweiss
- From 1959 to 2001, the one schilling coin depicted a bunch of three flowers
- It is the symbol of the Bulgarian Tourist Union and the Bulgarian Mountain Control and Lifeguard Service
- It is also the symbol of the Swiss national tourism organisation
- It is featured on the Romanian fifty lei note
- An Austrian brand of beer is named Edelweiß
- The edelweiss is used in the logotypes of several alpine clubs such as the Deutscher Alpenverein (German Alpine Club) or the Österreichischer Alpenverein (Austrian Alpine Club). The edelweiss is also used in the logotype of the Union of International Mountain Leader Associations (UIMLA).
- In Asterix in Switzerland (1970), the plot is driven by a quest to find edelweiss in the Swiss mountains and bring a bloom back to Gaul to cure a poisoned Roman quaestor
- Edelweiss Air, an international airline based in Switzerland, is named after the flower, which also appears in its logo
- The musician Moondog composed the song "High on a Rocky Ledge" inspired by the Edelweiss flower
- "Bring me Edelweiss" is the best-known song of the music group Edelweiss
- Polish professional ice hockey team MMKS Podhale Nowy Targ use an edelweiss as their emblem
- Edelweiss Lodge and Resort is a military resort located in Garmisch, Germany.
The Edelweiss Flower’s Color MeaningsThough subtle in appearance, the Edelweiss’ color has symbolic meaning as much as the entire flower itself has. The actual German translation of the word, “Edelweiss,” literarily means noble and white. Surely, this is a brief color meaning as a description. The flower’s sense of nobility is the most profound in the Edelweiss’ entire symbolic meaning. Roughly dozens of people die yearly in climbs and expeditions for this blooming daisy variety. Its nobility is on the line yearly with 50 being the most to have fallen to their deaths in pursuit of this wild blossom.
Interesting Facts About the Edelweiss Flower
- There currently are legal limitations that deny the legal right to pick this flower in most of the regions where it’s now left to grow wild.
- The plant is said to have anti-aging proponents.
- The popular song, that you likely heard on “Sound of Music” is not a national tune; it was written specifically for the movie.
- To prevent its extinction, the Edelweiss has been planted in accessible areas consisting of lower altitudes.
- The Edelweiss is a token of love, and it is also the name of a beer maker in Austria.
Special Occasions for Edelweiss FlowersShould the man be brave and stout, an Edelweiss might be the right flower to profess his love. This flower can be a great symbol of love when daring men take hold of the mountains and elevate there way through dangers of falling and inclement weather.
The lucky women found to be the reason for such an occasion will surely know the honor of the man seeking to impress her. This flower could also have been given to soothe the body of diphtheria or tuberculosis.
When taken as a tea, these ailments are given relief and was a gesture of good faith had it been giving to you during sickness.