Once upon a time, in the Alpine mountains a very pretty fairy girl lived and she loved with her whole heart a beautiful young man who lived at the foot of the mountains.
But the young man never climbed high in the mountains, and she was forbidden to descend from them. The fairy cried, looking down, and tears of love flowed down her cheeks and fell on the mountain slopes. Where the tears of the charming woman fell, flowers of marvelous beauty grew - they are called edelweiss.
There are other, similar, legends about the origin of this flower - they are all about courage, courage and real, all-consuming, love. How else? Places here are harsh! To get edelweiss you need to spend many days in the mountains and, if you're lucky, you will get this flower. Therefore, it is believed that if a man gives his beloved edelweiss, if he can get it, despite the difficulties, it means that he really loves her.
Edelweiss in nature. Source: www.ethical-hedonist.com
Under natural conditions, edelweiss grows on rocky mountain slopes, in the alpine and subalpine zone, at an altitude of about 1.8 km above sea level. The edelweiss flowering period occurs in the summer months - June and July. Flowers seem doubly beautiful against the backdrop of sparse mountain vegetation.
The scientific name of edelves - leontopodium (Leontopodium) comes from the Greek. λέων (leon) - "lion" and ποδεών (podion) - "foot", since the appearance of the inflorescence of this plant resembles a lion's paw.
Edelweiss form a genus of dicotyledonous herbaceous plants of the family Asteraceae (Asteraceae), or Compositae (Compositae), common in the highlands of Europe and Asia.
The traditional name Edelweiss is a transliteration from the German name: Edelweiß, from it. edel is noble and weiß is white.
The magnificent beauty of the flower, the slow pace of its growth - all this combined with the human hunt for these plants has led to the fact that they are now on the list of protected plant species.
Nowadays there is no need to go to the mountains along the edelweiss. They grow well in rocky gardens, in stone, sandy soil with good drainage. Also, edelweiss is good in borders or in mass plantings to cover the soil. The only contraindication for growing edelweiss is the humid and hot climate of your region.
Features of growing in the garden
All parts of the plant are covered with thick villi, protecting it from excessive evaporation of water. They give the edelweiss a great look thanks to the silvery-white color. In addition, hairiness gives the plant and resistance to frost. Edelweiss are able to spend the winter in the garden without shelter even with a small amount of snow.
Edelweiss in the garden
Individual edelweiss specimens grow from 15 to 30 cm in height, and they grow by 15–22 cm in width. As they grow, the edelweiss gradually expands, as they grow well from the underground roots.
The inflorescence of the plant consists of baskets, crowded into dense lumps, of white and yellowish and odorless flowers. Baskets are surrounded by linear, star-shaped leaf wrappers.
In the garden, edelweiss blooms in summer, from June to August. After flowering, flowering shoots are removed, as they lose their decorative effect, especially in rainy summer.
By autumn, the bush of edelweiss consists of small annual rosettes of leaves. They are very tightly intertwined with roots, so they have to be carefully disassembled, using for reproduction.
Reproduction of edelweiss
Edelweiss can be propagated by seeds and cuttings. On the cuttings use small tops of the shoots that root well in May and June. Rooted plants bloom the following year.
Seeds of edelweiss. Source: davesgarden.com
Edelweiss can be propagated by seed. To do this, use the seeds of last year, which in March are sown in boxes for seedlings, pre-filled with a nutrient mixture. For them, suitable soil mixture consisting of leaf soil and sand in a ratio of 2: 1. Three weeks before planting, it is desirable to mix the seeds with moist soil and place them in a refrigerator.
A container with edelweiss seeds is covered with glass or film to maintain moisture and set in a shaded place, keeping the temperature + 13–15 ° C. Shoots appear in 2-3 weeks. After their appearance, the shelter is removed and put the box on the lit place.
Edelweiss seedlings grow very slowly. When they reach a height of 2 cm, they are transplanted into separate pots and put on growing.
In the spring, after the end of spring frosts, young plants are transplanted into the garden to a permanent place. The distance between the plants is 15 cm from each other.
If you decide to reproduce edelweiss from seeds in the garden, then the seeds should be scattered directly on the ground surface, and the best period for this is the beginning of spring, until the last frost.
Edelweiss love sunny places. They grow well on light, well-drained, calcareous soils, but they also grow on neutral ones. In addition, edelweiss do not like excess moisture, as they do not tolerate its lack.
Under the snow cover, the plant tolerates the winter period well. In areas where the snow does not linger in winter, the soil must be mulched, but in the beginning of spring mulch must be removed. By spring frosts, plants are resistant.
Growing up in one place, edelweiss requires rejuvenation every 3 years. It does not require special care, it is necessary to maintain the land in a clean state from weeds and top dressing in the spring with complex mineral fertilizer.
Edelweiss is ideal for rock gardens, but looks good in group plantings in the foreground mixborder.
Edelweiss is widely used in the preparation of dry bouquets, as the inflorescences retain their shape and color for a very long time.
For winter bouquets, flower stalks are cut off until the flowers open and dried in a well-ventilated room in a hanging state, florets down.
Special signs of edelweiss
The flowers are white or yellowish, pubescent, like the whole plant. Single plant stems reach a height of up to 20–25 cm from the basal rosette of lanceolate leaves that lie on the ground. Edelweiss blooms when late frosts, typical of the mountain climate, are bypassed. The main flowering occurs in July, it lasts about a month.
Under favorable conditions, after flowering, a cylindrical achene is formed with many volatile seeds. Because of the pubescence, the plant bears the more mundane name Plesnivec (plodnik). In nature, there are more than 40 species of this wonderful representative of the flora.
Honorary member of the Red Book Alpine Edelweiss breeds in captivity
Edelweiss admirers especially love Edelweiss Alpine. This perennial plant, like all edelweiss, does not like shade, excess moisture and fertilizer. Easily tolerates harsh winter conditions and drought.
Leafy stems, leaves and flowers heavily pubescent. The flowers are yellowish shade, the stipes are light silver-gray. Before curtain formation, it grows for a long time, does not tolerate the neighborhood of plants with a strong branched root system.
Due to its decorative effect, it looks great in combination with dwarf conifers, ornamental plants with beautiful foliage.
For the beauty and extraordinary decorative effect, edelweiss suffered a lot, as a result, most of its species are listed in the Red Book. But flower growers have learned to plant flower romance "in captivity." In addition to planting seeds, which are scattered over compacted and moist soil, flowers successfully propagate by dividing the mother plant into separate plots. The vegetative method is even better than seed propagation, since in this case edelweiss is not sick and retains the decorativeness of the floral rosette.
Special preparation for growing in the garden (and edelweiss is the perfect decoration for any rock garden) requires soil where this ascetic will be planted. He loves stony sandy mixtures that provide good drainage. Excessive fertilization for edelweiss is detrimental: the rosette rots, the leaves and stems lose their “fluffy” decorative effect, the flowers become small and also lose pubescence.
Care and conditions of alpine edelweiss
Watering should be very moderate, excessive moisture contributes to the decay and loss of the decorative qualities of the plant. Depending on the type of soil on the site or in rock gardens, a gardener can get completely different flowers. The more attention given to this mountainous minded person, the worse a flowering plant will look. Edelweiss should not be disturbed by root loosening, the place for it should initially be sunny.
When it is placed in a rock garden or mixborder, it is better to identify the plant in the planting edge, not to plant a stonecrop next to it. These plants, as well as any other, with a strong root system, will suppress the growth of the edelweiss rosette, and it will not grow into a beautiful curtain. At the end of the season with the onset of cold weather, the plant needs to be mulched with peat or wood mulch. The flowers are winter-hardy enough, the mulch will serve for snow retention over the asleep plant.
Edelweiss two-tone - Leontopodium discolor
In the Far East another type of these flowers Edelweiss bicolor grows. Low bushes up to 30–35 cm in height, with pressed pubescent whitish rosette leaves. Bracts with different lengths of leaves surround the star of the flower.
Unlike the Alpine species, these plants have a smaller flower, only 3.5-4 cm. It blooms in July, it does not lose its decorative effect throughout the summer period. Gardeners can purchase seeds and plant them before winter. After the onset of stable spring heat in May, the plant sprouts.
Kurdish Edelweiss - Leontopodium kurilense
The Edelweiss endemic of the Kuril Islands, bearing the same name Kuril, competes in beauty with a resident of the Alpine mountains. It is much lower than its sibling, the stems reach only 15 cm in height, but the flowers are almost the same diameter: 4–5 cm. There are more than 10 rays pubescent with white felted hairs in the stipules. Edelweiss Kuril blooms in July and forms the seed in September. Very interesting plant for stony gardens and alpine slides. Its flowers and stems, as if covered with cobwebs, attract attention and do not lose their decorative effect throughout the season.
Botanical description of the plant and its varieties
Edelweiss are perennial or annual herbaceous plants that have a height of 12 to 25 cm. The plant has leaves with a narrow elongated leaf blade. The lamina below is covered with fibers that protect against excessive loss of moisture. The upper surface of the leaf blade has a silver color.
The inflorescence of a plant is final, complex, and consists of baskets twisted into dense formations. The composition of the baskets includes white flowers or flowers that have a yellowish tint.
Baskets in the inflorescence surround linear leaves having a star-spread shape.
Today, plant systematics in the genus Edelweiss include more than 60 species. Each type of edelweiss flower has external distinctive features that can be easily detected by comparing photos of flowers of different species.
The most common species of this plant are the following:
- Leontopodium alpinum,
- Leontopodium fauriei,
- alpine edelweiss,
- Leontopodium brachyactis,
- Edelweiss Fedchenko,
- Leontopodium japonicum,
- Leontopodium leontopodioides,
- Leontopodium ochroleucum,
- Siberian edelweiss,
- edelweiss palibin.
The edelweiss flower Palibin in the photo is very similar to the alpine species. This plant species grows in the mountainous and steppe regions of the Siberian part of Eurasia, in the Mongolian steppes, on the territory of Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula. The plant in the process of its growth forms bushes, which are larger in size than those formed by the Alpine variety of the plant, but the flowers of this plant are smaller than those of the Alpine edelweiss.
Flowering occurs from June to September. Plant development occurs on dry, poor and uncultivated soil. With the growth of plants on soils rich in humus, there is a rapid development of foliage with a minimum number of formed flowers.
Propagation of plants, as a rule, is carried out in a vegetative way, with the help of rhizome division. In addition, the possible seed type of reproduction.
After a flowering period, the plant develops seeds. Flower seeds are small and flyable.
In the late autumn period, the mother plant dies off, and in its place are annual sockets that overwinter. In the next vegetative season, full-fledged plants develop from these outlets, which begin to bloom.
Growing and caring for plants at home
Many gardeners lovers believe that edelweiss can not be grown at home. This opinion is fundamentally wrong. In order to make sure that the edelweiss flower can be grown at home, just look at the photo of the design of the Alpine slides on sites dedicated to landscape design.
This flower gets along perfectly on the alpine hills among a large number of other plants. It should be remembered that the plant requires a lot of sunlight. This factor should be taken into account when choosing a site for planting.
The main requirement for growing this plant is the absence of even the slightest stagnation of moisture.
Plant should be planted in poor calcareous soil, which should add a certain amount of sand.
Important! When watering the soil layer, the flower dies, for this reason, watering the plant should be carried out only during a period of severe drought.
When caring for the plant, those flower stalks, on which the flowering stopped, should be removed, as they lose their decorative qualities.
The Edelweiss flower, judging by the photos located on the sites dedicated to landscape design, should be planted on alpine hills or in rocky gardens. This flower is perfectly combined with flowers having a blue and pink color. It should be remembered that when carrying out a landscape design this flower can get lost among bright and luxurious flowers, as it is more modest in design compared to others.
After planting the plant in the ground for him to carry out a thorough care. When planting a plant, it should be taken into account that the feeding area for one individual should be not less than 20x20 cm.
Planted plants require additional feeding in the autumn and spring periods of development. Feeding should be carried out using complex mineral fertilizers.
The use of edelweiss in the practical life of man
The use of plant components has become widespread in cosmetology.
Note! Edelweiss extract is a valuable cosmetic component that is able to have a positive effect on the skin.
Get the extract by conducting alcohol-glycerin extraction with the use of the aerial parts of the plant. The extract has an orange or dark brown color. The product is practically odorless. Soluble in water and alcohol.
Extract from the aerial parts of the plant has a whole range of useful properties, the main ones being the following:
- prevention of skin aging,
- antifungal and antiseptic.
The extract obtained from vegetable raw materials is used in the production of various cosmetic products:
- skin care creams,
- serums used to prevent aging of the skin of the face and body,
- creams that protect the skin of the body from the damaging effects of various environmental factors.
In some cases, cosmetologists do not recommend the use of cosmetics prepared on the basis of edelweiss extract.
Important! It is not recommended to use such agents if a person has an individual intolerance to the components of cosmetic products, as well as if the person is hypersensitive to the components of cosmetic preparations.
Edelweiss flower legend
This handsome man is included in the list of plants of the Red Book of Russia. The plant is threatened with complete extinction, because at the moment its number in nature has declined significantly.
flower edelweiss photo in the wild
The Swiss consider it a symbol of the country. But, unfortunately, now in Switzerland the flower is extremely rare. The government even issued a law prohibiting the collection of edelweiss to protect it from tourists and to save in natural conditions.
Where is growing? It grows in the rocks of Tibet, the Himalayas, the Carpathians and the Far East. What does an edelweiss flower look like? It looks like a little silver star or pearl. This herbaceous perennial plant is 15-30 cm in height, and grows about 20 cm wide. The outer area of the leaf plates is colored in bright green color, and the lower one is covered with small white fibers that protect the foliage from frost.
Translated from German, the name has the meaning “noble white”. The French call it an alpine star. В Швейцарии он известен, как «королева Альп». А во всём мире это растение символизирует любовь, преданность и мужество.
Эдельвейс: легенда про цветок
If you look at it objectively, this modest flower is not at all surprising by its beauty, compared to other plants. But he is striking in its mystery. Long ago, men even risked their lives to bring the mountainous edelweiss to their beloveds; this was a symbol of courage and courage. This flower is surrounded by many legends and myths.
One legend tells of an unusually strong feeling of two lovers, who were waiting for eternal separation. But the two of them preferred to jump off a cliff. And then, in that place, edelweiss grew on stones, as a sign of triumph and sadness.
There is a more fantastic legend, she tells about the mythical beauties with long nails who live on high steep cliffs. They grow edelweiss, care for them and protect them from people. Brave men who steal their flowers, beautiful women are thrown into the abyss. Allowed to take with a star only people with real and sincere feelings.
Acquainted with the legends of the "silver star", you understand why many people want to conquer this mountain flower and grow in their economy.
Types of Edelweiss
In total, science knows little more than 40 species, and only a few of them are culturally grown.
- Alpine leontopodium - the most numerous species. Its top double leaves form a multipath star. Stems grow to 20 cm. Flowering occurs in the summer. The edelweiss of Soulia (Leontopodium souliei), blooming with stars of silver and white color, has gained wide popularity. This species grows in the Alps and the Carpathians. It can often be grown at home.
- The Siberian edelweiss of Palibin (Leontopodium palibinianum) is larger than the alpine. Growth medium - Siberia, Mongolia, Korea. Blossoms in June-September. Sometimes, mistakenly, the subspecies of the plant - the pink cat's paw is called Siberian,
- Bicolor edelweiss is found in the Far East. Differs in small inflorescences, its bracts have different length of leaves. It has long-lasting decorative properties. Sown in the ground before the arrival of winter, and the first seedlings are observed in May,
- Kuril grows under the ground, its straight stems reach only 20 cm. The fluffy petals on both sides form "asterisks", they are the same in length, narrow lanceolate,
- Pale yellow edelweiss. Its single stalks, often bald. Lanceolate petals oblong oblong, have wrapped edges and yellowish-green hue.
Growing Edelweiss: Characteristics
It will not be difficult. But know in no case be planted next to gladioli, roses, peoniesbecause the flower is not visible on their background.
Often edelweiss adorn alpine hills. Indeed, among the stones, which are an indispensable attribute of such landscape compositions, it feels like home.
What soil is suitable
Leontopodium needs sunlight, you need to choose the right place to land. Suitable for growing on dry, light limestone. To bring conditions closer to natural, the addition of coarse sand or crushed stone is desirable in the soil before planting.
- The peculiarity of the garden "Queen of the Alps" - the negative perception of nutrient soil. From which the plant can say goodbye to its decorative. It is much better tolerate poor soil, the gap between the stones.
- It is strictly forbidden to use mineral or organic fertilizers for dressing, especially the application of fresh manure.
- And it is preferable to minimize the root loosening of the soil.
- It is also important to eliminate the stagnation of moisture in the soil. What will contribute and the introduction of drainage of rubble and sand during planting.
Care: transplanting, weeding, wintering
It is necessary to regularly change the landing site of edelweiss every 2-3 years to maintain its decorative qualities.
Creeping plants - will perform poor neighbors, because the growth of its roots suppresses the strong and persistent root system of creeping, until the complete death of the Queen of the Alps.
Therefore, it is necessary to deal with weeds in a timely manner on the plot, with planted mountain pets.
Although leontopodium is fairly cold-resistant, before the cold weather comes, the bushes often mulch using wood material or peat.
Mulch allows you to maintain the integrity of the snow cover over sleeping plants, protecting them from freezing.
Edelweiss alpine seed growing
In private plots, it is more convenient to propagate a flower with the help of ready-made seedlings, or to grow it yourself in advance from seeds.
To do this, from February to March, the seeds are evenly distributed over the soil surface, which consists of 2 parts of hardwood and 1 part of sand. Before the appearance of the first shoots, the containers are kept under a greenhouse of film or glass.
The growth of seedlings is slow. By the end of April, the beginning of May, the seedlings are ready for transplanting into open ground.
Edelweiss bloom should be expected in a year.
In spring and autumn you can divide the bushes, thus multiplying the flower. This should be done carefully to avoid damage. After all, the root systems of individual plants are closely intertwined.
Herbal ingredients from silver stars are widely used for the preparation of cosmetics. The plant extract is attributed to a wide range of beneficial qualities:
- slowing the aging of the skin.
The peculiar beauty and the possibility of using edelweiss flowers made growing it a profitable business. Entrepreneurs who manage to successfully grow and propagate an exotic plant, do it on a large scale, planting huge plantations with flowers.
Edelweiss is widely used in the creation of mixborders, for the design of the foreground and rocky areas. Designers consider Alpine aster, miniature roses, violet and aquilegia the best neighborhood for the plant. Because often planted in the design of rockeries, alpine slides, flower beds.
Beginner gardeners are reminded that the elegant garden plants in their neighborhood make the modest edelweiss invisible. He visually disappears next to the luxurious flowers. And the most profitable looks alone.
If you collect beautiful half-opened edelweiss flowers and put them in a vase of water, they will retain their beauty and freshness for a long time. Dried flowers do not lose their silver color and shape, ideal for creating winter bouquets.
Edelweiss alpine: growing in the garden
The villi that cover the whole plant protect it not only from the evaporation of moisture, but also protect it from frost. In winter, you can leave it without shelter even with a small amount of snow.
The height of individual specimens can reach 30 centimeters, and the width of the bush is about 22 centimeters. These data are important to consider when planting young plants in the garden.
Edelweiss flowering in garden conditions occurs in the June-August month. Flowering shoots should be removed after flowering.because they lose their decoration. This is especially true during rainy summer.
Soil for it consists of coarse sand and small pebbles. This will create natural conditions for plant growth. In the lowlands and depressions, the flower should not be planted: it does not tolerate stagnant water. Mineral and organic fertilizers are harmful for him. Frequent root loosening of the soil is also not required. Place for landing is better to choose semi-shaded.
How to propagate a plant
For the reproduction of alpine edelweiss most often used cuttings or seeds. For cuttings take small tops of the shoots that can take root in May and June. After rooting, the plants are ready for flowering next year.
If you want to propagate a plant already growing in the garden, it is best to choose the option with vegetative breeding bushby dividing it. Edelweiss is distinguished by an unusually strong root system and easy adaptability to new conditions. The division of the bush is usually produced in early autumn or in the middle of spring. Edelweiss will start blooming with such a transplant, as with other methods for the next year.
But you can multiply alpine flower and seeds. Do this as follows:
- Take the seeds of last year.
- Sow the seeds in the boxes with the nutrient mixture (take sand and leaf earth 1: 2) in the month of March.
- For hardening, three weeks before planting, the seeds are mixed with wet soil and placed in a refrigerator.
- After sowing the seeds, the box is covered with a film or glass to retain moisture and is removed to a shaded place.
- Air temperature for seedlings is maintained within + 15 degrees.
- The first shoots can be seen three weeks after planting the seeds.
- After the emergence of shoots, you can remove the film and put the box in the lit place.
Growth in seedlings is quite slow. When the seedlings reach a height of two centimeters, they are transferred to growing in individual pots. After spring frosts, alpine flowers are transferred to the garden to a permanent place of growth. Plants should be planted at a distance of 15 centimeters from each other.
Alpine Edelweiss Care Rules
The plant will please the owners with its extraordinary beauty in gratitude for their patience and proper care. It's pretty unpretentious in the wild, requires the creation of special conditions for growing in the garden. When growing plants in the country should:
- Plant it in places that are close in terms of conditions to natural growth.
- Select for planting neutral or calcareous, well-drained soil.
- Monitor the amount of moisture: plants can not stand the lack and overabundance of water.
- In winter with a lack of snow mulch the soil, so that it does not freeze, and at the beginning of spring to clean the mulch.
- Rejuvenate plant every three years.
- Do not feed fertilizer (under natural conditions, it is accustomed to poor mountain soils).
- Pdefeated by aphids process the bush with a special solution from the pest.
- Plant a plant in rockeries only with plants similar in growth conditions.
Spring frost plant tolerates great. When growing in one place, this flower is rejuvenated once every three years. Land near the flower follows weed free.
Alpine edelweiss can serve as an excellent option for landing on an alpine hill. It can be planted in the foreground in group plantings.
When planting an alpine flower in the garden, it is important to pick low crops for him in a couple. Great combination with edelweiss have gypsophila, alissum, stonecrop, zhivuchka and other soil cover plants.
Due to the ability of inflorescences to retain their shape and color for a long time, they are used to make dry bouquets. To this end, the flower stalks are cut to the disclosure of flowers and dried in a suspended state with buds in a well-ventilated room down.
Due to the fact that different types of plants in the wild can grow on different continents, it is necessary to establish the type of plant and the conditions for its natural growth in order to choose the right conditions for planting in the garden. Alpine is considered to be one of the most common types of edelweiss, but in the wild nature there is also a dwarf flower growing in China and the Himalayas. Also, the plant is found in the Kuril Islands.
In Korea, Siberia and Mongolia, Pilibin's edelweiss can be found. It should be planted on the site in a certain place where the plant will be protected from overheating. The dwarf congener of edelweiss is very fastidious to the soil: it should contain a small amount of humus and should be constantly hydrated during the growth of the flower.
How to replant an adult plant
Due to its natural growth in mountainous areas, the flower has formed a rather long root system. When transplanting you need to dig deep enough holes and straighten the roots during transplantation.
When planting in the hole, you should sprinkle the roots with dry soil and water the plant with a small amount of water. Successful transplant can be tracked by the appearance of side shoots. Transplantation can be called successful with active bushiness of the flower and lush flowering the next year after transplantation.