Edelweiss, the famous flower that grows only in the highest mountains, is not only found in the Swiss Alps, here you can find it

“Edelweiss, Edelweiss, white flower of the Alps”, sang the protagonists of the classic (tearful) film “Smiles and Tears”. This mythical flower became a favorite of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife, Empress Sisi, who picked them up while cycling to the Pasterzen Glacier. Today it is still the insignia of Austrian, French, Slovenian, Polish, Romanian and German alpine troops. There is also an Edelweiss beer in Austria and a Swiss airline called Edelweiss Air.

Edelweiss extract is now added to some high quality skin care products because the natural compounds in Edelweiss have the ability to neutralize free radicals and prevent the amplification of superoxides involved in skin aging processes. Edelweiss and goat’s milk soaps are becoming more and more common.

The Edelweiss is actually a relative of the humble daisy, and like the daisy, what look like white petals are actually modified leaves. The scientific name of the plant Leontopodium alpinum means “lion’s foot”, while its German name is the combination of edel (noble) and Weiss (white). This plant is widespread in the mountainous areas of Europe, such as the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Carpathians, and grows between 1,800 and 3,000 meters in height. They have also become popular in North America, where hobbyists grow them in rock gardens or in pots.


The flower isn’t exactly snow-white either. The modified hours, which become furry as summer progresses, are silvery-white with a slight greenish tinge. The floral centers are golden yellow due to pollen.

Edelweiss flowers are classified as short-lived perennials. After spreading over an area and flowering for a few years, they fail to spread by seeding and disappear from that part of the mountain. The Edelweiss flower is endangered, so if you find it in the mountains, please don’t pick it up.

Zermatt, Switzerland

In this famous ski resort, edelweiss flowers can be found in summer, between July and September, when there is no snow, but spectacular mountain trails can be walked. One of the available routes is precisely called the Edelweiss Way. The fines for plucking the flowers are staggering.

Ordesa and Monte Perdido, Spain

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park in the Aragonese Pyrenees is one of the best places to find Edelweiss in Spain. It is mainly found on the route that runs along the slopes of Monte Perdido, at about 2,500 meters of altitude, between July and September. They are highly protected and cannot be harvested without permission.

LaVanoise, France

In this National Park of the French Alps, you cannot ski, and it is intended for the conservation of fauna and flora, being almost the only place in France where the Edelweiss are found. There are many mountain routes in summer with spectacular scenery between Turin and Grenoble. Don’t get caught picking the flower.

Hohe Tauern, Austria

In the Austrian Alps, not far from where Emperor Franz Joseph collected the Edelweiss for Sisi, we can go to contemplate the flower, but without touching it. It is a National Park where Edelweiss grows freely and where we can emulate the rides from the movie “Smiles and Tears”.

Science of Quo Travel Section sponsored by hyundai


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