The edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) of the asteraceae family is probably one of the best known mountain plants. It is said to come from Siberia. Its name comes from the German terms edel and weiß meaning noble and white respectively. It also has other names like lion-footed gnaphale, lion's foot, glacier star and silver star. It is a Swiss national emblem although it does not only grow in this country. Theedelweiss glaciers has a preference for high-altitude limestone massifs (between 1,270 and 3,000 meters), but it is also found in rocky lawns and more exceptionally in hay meadows. Its pollination is 80% ensured by flies which feed on its nectar.
Culture of edelweiss
Planting edelweiss can be done without problem in poor, rocky but well-drained soil. It can also be grown in the garden, in a planter placed on a balcony or terrace. The edelweiss is planted in the spring in a sunny location.
Its leaves are tomentose, that is to say that they are covered with a small down of woolly white hairs, as is the edelweiss flower, in which the 5 or 6 yellow flower heads in the center are bordered with leaflets organized in a star.
It is at the time of planting that the watering of the edelweiss must be regular, even frequent when the young plant is in a pot. Once in the ground and at maturity, watering should be moderate because the edelweiss hates humidity, whatever the season.
The edelweiss culture is easy. This mountain plant does not require any maintenance or any fertilizer contribution.
There is no particular edelweiss disease. On the other hand, certain pests, such as aphids, slugs and snails, are capable of destroying a foot of edelweiss in a short time.
Uses of edelweiss
Edelweiss has various medicinal properties and above all antioxidant properties. It is especially used against diarrhea, abdominal pain, bronchitis and angina. The edelweiss also finds a place of choice in cosmetology. It is found with happiness in gastronomy in the form of liqueur, chocolate or fondue.