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Leontopodium alpinum

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 11 September 2012 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Leontopodium alpinum (NL: Edelweiss / EN: Edelweiss / DE: Edelweiß / FR: Edelweiss, Pied-de-lion, Gnaphale à pied de lion, Etoile d’argent, Etoile des glaciers) , the symbol of the Alpine flora, is a well-known European mountain flower, belonging to the asteraceae family. The common name comes from German: "edel", meaning "noble", and "weiß" (also spelled "weiss") "white", thus signifying "noble whiteness". The scientific name Leontopodium is a Latin adaptation of Greek leontopódion (λεοντοπόδιον) "lion's paw", from léōn "lion" and pódion "foot" (diminutive of poús, podós "foot"). Leaves and flowers are covered with white hairs and appear woolly (tomentose). The dense hair appears to be an adaptation to high altitudes, protecting the plant from cold, aridity and ultraviolet radiation. Flowering stalks of Edelweiss can grow to a size of 3–20 cm. Each bloom consisting of five to six small yellow flower heads (5 mm) surrounded by bracts in star formation. The flowers are in bloom between July and September. The plant is unequally distributed and prefers rocky limestone places at 2000–2900 m altitude. Since it usually grows in inaccessible places, it is associated in many countries of the alpine region with mountaineering. It is not toxic, and has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases. Edelweiss is now a protected plant in many countries.

Image: Tschierv (CH) – 13/07/2012

Canon EOS 400D 1/1250 second F/3.2 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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Christine from Ellemford, United Kingdom


11 Sep 2012 5:59am

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & so beautiful!

11 Sep 2012 6:26am

Marilla from Turku, Finland

Sensitive little flowers!

11 Sep 2012 8:23am

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Een mooi scherpteverloop in deze foto en prachtig licht.

11 Sep 2012 8:50am

Mary from PA, United States

Very beautiful!!

11 Sep 2012 11:22am

Grigore from Bucuresti, Romania

Edelweiss is originally from Romania!

11 Sep 2012 3:35pm

@Grigore: You should check your sources: Edelweiss is originating from the high mountain regions in Asia. The plant "migrated" after the latest Ice-age to the mountain regions in Europe where it found a suitable habitat after the melting of the ice.

This image has been featured in 1 Remix collection.

Flowers by Christine

Canon EOS 400D
1/1250 second
ISO 200
150 mm