Anyone have experience with Edelweiss?

lbolanz(z6NY)July 15, 2004

Hello!

I just bought two Edelweiss (Leontopodium Alpinum) from a catalog and really don't want them to die!

I have them planted in a light mix in a clay pot with stones on top (to keep the leaves off the soil), in full sun.

Looking ok after a month--any tips/experience?

Thanks!

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millieon(zone 6a)

I planted one at my son's place in CT and it died over the winter so good luck with yours.
Millie

    Bookmark   July 15, 2004 at 10:59PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

I would suspect yours died from winter wet. People grow them here in zone 4 Minnesota. Myself, I just can't get excited about the flower. Love the Austrian song though. Does anyone know the words in German?

Rick

    Bookmark   July 16, 2004 at 9:55PM
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sbeas(z7 OK)

I have seen the plants, but never grown them and, frankly,
I don't know why it rated getting a song either. Doesn't impress me. Sharon in OK

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 1:26PM
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lbolanz(z6NY)

The original version of the song was in English, written for the musical "The Sound of Music" by Oscar Hammerstein, but I have seen a translation (loose) that goes like this (the funny "B" letters stand for "ss"):

EdelweiÃ, EdelweiÃ,du grüÃt mich jeden morgen,
Sehe ich dich, freue ich mich, und vergeà meine Sorgen.
Schmücke das Heimatland, schön und weiÃ, blühest wie die Sterne.
EdelweiÃ, EdelweiÃ, ach, ich hab dich so gerne.

Edelweiss, Edelweiss, every morning you greet me,
small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me.
Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow,
bloom and grow forever.
Edelweiss, Edelweiss, bless my homeland forever.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 10:17AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Well, another assumption down the drain. Us stupid Americans. Now that I know the song is not Austrian to begin with, I really don't care about the German. Sorry to make you go to the trouble lbolanz.

We do have a really good nursery with the name of Edelweiss in Duluth, Minnesota. The owner is a Czech immigrant. I guess there must be some allure to the plant.

Rick

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 8:37PM
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Liviu(3a AB)

We seeded few flowers in a flower bed, on the south side of the house (Edmonton, Canada) a couple of years ago. They look excellent without any extra care or watering. After all it's a flower that grows in harsh conditions.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 2:43PM
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alanrocks(z6 KY)

I've had two Edelweiss plants for three years. As flowers go they are unimpressive. One almost rotted over the winter a couple of years ago, but a small portion survived and it recovered. I've moved them three times, but haven't killed them yet. Sharp drainage appears to be the key.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 9:05PM
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lbolanz(z6NY)

Thanks for all the feedback! I read that they grow in the harsh Alpine climate among rocks and on cliffs, so the drainage part seems right. I agree that the flowers are weird-looking, but I'm growing it more for sentimental reasons, and the challenge!

It looks like it's going to flower soon--if it does, I'll post a picture!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 10:21AM
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Snaz

My experience with the people of Edelweiss Nurseries are very excellent. Very helpfull
Sna

    Bookmark   October 16, 2004 at 3:07PM
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klavier(Z7 Baltimore)

The English lines are definetely not what the German says.
EdelweiÃ, EdelweiÃ,du grüÃt mich jeden morgen,
Sehe ich dich, freue ich mich, und vergeà meine Sorgen.
Schmücke das Heimatland, schön und weiÃ, blühest wie die Sterne.
EdelweiÃ, EdelweiÃ, ach, ich hab dich so gerne.

My german is kind of poor but it says something more to the the extent of:

Edelweiss, Edelweiss you greet me every morning
I see you, I am happy, and my worries are relieved
Jewel of the home land, beautiful and white, bloom like the stars
Edelweiss, Edelweiss oh how fond I am of you

    Bookmark   December 14, 2004 at 6:36PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Hi, I just came across your thread while looking for info about possibilities for marketing Edelweiss - bouquets, dried etc. Here in Nova Scotia, with its rather cool wet climate, I started Edelweiss in poor, dry, sandy soil in an exposed place and they've really taken off in their third year. They have great sentimental value for me as well - my parents came from alpine villages - but I think they're quite exquisite. And great conversation pieces. I brought some in to the museum I worked at this summer and we started a game with visitors - "Sing a verse of 'Edelweiss' and you'll win a free museum bookmark." The response was tremendous - funny - and got people talking. Most people know the song but have never seen 'live' Edelweiss. Most find the story of alpine flowers' reflective quality (I've forgotten the word for it), which is marked in Edelweiss, interesting.
Anyhow, good luck!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 2:52PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Strange the "folklore" that seems to have sprung up around a plant that is only known to the general public via a song written for a 1965 American musical! The original lyrics were in English, so presumably the differences in the German lyrics simply reflect the words that "sounded best", given the language differences, and fit the melody.

I agree - in the absence of the song, I doubt this plant would find much interest even among rock-gardeners!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 5:26PM
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MarkG_UK(UK - Zone 8)

I think in Europe the plant had an already established mystique in victorian times. Farrer makes a comment about dashing young men risking their lives to bring back a sprig to impress potential ladyfriends from high crags and sourly adds they could have walked through masses in the safety of the alpine meadows below.
There was I think pre war a spectacular dwarf variety with larger flowers..I even managed to get (and lose it) in the 70s. There is a golden one from the Himalaya (covered in yellow fur) and the New Zealand equivalents (Leucogenes) are entirely bright silver.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 10:53AM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

lbolanz, thanks for those lyrics btw. If your Edelweiss plants didn't make it, Richter's sells seed - they're very easy to grow.
And try a Google image search of thoune/thuner pottery/ majolika for photos of the traditional pottery from the 1800's that features Edelweiss.

Here are the flowers I mentioned. The student workers named the bug Hubert - he or she had hitched a ride in under a blossom. If anybody can tell me what kind of bug it is I'd appreciate it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 4:45PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

And wanted to mention that around 20 years ago descending from a hike in the alps I remarked to my Swiss friend that we hadn't seen any Edelweiss; he said, "All gone to tourists." They were scarce then, if not endangered (should look into this).
We get quite a few Swiss and German tourists around here in summer. I like the idea of showing them an Edelweiss border in the New World.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 5:01PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

lbolanz, or anyone interested, just found this:
"If Edelweiss are placed where they will be exposed fully to the sun, they will be a greenish gray, but they will be a creamy white if planted in partial shade. Any good sandy garden soil will do in which some limestone has been mixed. If the plant is placed between two rather closely fitting rocks with plenty of sandy soil beneath, it will succeed nearly as well as it does in the Alps."

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 10:43AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

That is interesting. I would think just the opposite for coloring: being more whitish in full sun, assuming the white comes from more "hairiness".

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 2:24PM
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Video_Garden(z3/4 Montreal)

I noticed a really distinctive, strong scent coming from the flowers of my Alpine Edelweiss last summer. At first I didn't know if it was the thyme planted next to it (and blooming as well), but I smelled the flowers individually and it had this fragrance or aroma which was really strong (I cannot describe it). It wafted into the air as well... It smelled like a pleasant herbal meal or something? Anyone else notice this?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2005 at 10:28PM
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Video_Garden(z3/4 Montreal)

Here is a photo of the Alpine Edelweiss in my rock garden:

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 12:10PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Those are very pretty and contented looking Edelweiss, Video. How long did it take to get clumps that size? And are they long lived? I'm hoping mine multiply, and have started more from seed as well, in hopes of one day having enough to sell.

About the greenish cast - mine are in full sun but the leaves have a greyish-green cast. Then again Nova Scotia is not that sunny.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 12:04PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Not leaves - flowers have the cast.
I'll make sure to sniff them this summer.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 1:32PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Or rather,
"The showy, hair covered rosettes aren't flower petals but modified leaves, silvery white in color with a tinge of green. The actual flower centers are golden yellow from pollen dust which is only a fleeting feature."
www.edelweissgrowers.com

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 8:05AM
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Video_Garden(z3/4 Montreal)

I never thought I'd be learning so much about Edelweiss... I forgot it's the floret of leaves that are tinged white, and those are not the actual part of the flowers. I've had my alpine edelweiss for about 2 years (The photo's were taken in their second year of bloom. I believe the second photo is that of fresh blooms, the first being later on in the summer as the plant begins to grey and turn brownish/yellow). Nothing special was done for them when I had planted them. I didn't really have space in my rock garden and didn't care where I put them or if they lived or died.... (I bought them from Reno Depot for a dollar or two) So PaulNS, I did exactly what you had mentioned earlier - I planted them between two slabs of rock or concrete! If you look at the second picture, at the very bottom, you can see the linear concrete border which I tried to edit out. It seems they are doing quite well there (in compacted, ammended with gravel, clayish soil/full sun). I'm surprised to hear that some may have more of a greenish tinge to the head of leaves. I imagine that would look really interesting. I did a search for edelweiss on google and found a picture where they looked somewhat greener and yellow. I wonder if there are different hybrid varieties out there...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 5:37PM
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Video_Garden(z3/4 Montreal)

In admiring the photo, now I'm wondering if grass would make a nice companion plant for edelweiss...! 8^)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 5:39PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

I like your edelweiss/thyme combination. A very low (and slow) growing thyme would be a great companion - I've ordered some 'magic carpet lemon' seeds - 2" they say - from Richter's and will try that.
Hope yours live long for you. Thanks for the suggestions re rocks. I've started some more seeds from the old packet, unthinkingly using regular potting mix - probably not ideal. Just in case, I've ordered more seed.
The photo you linked to looks like it was shot through a yellow-green filter? A nice grassy/starry effect. But grass will not be allowed anywhere near mine if I can help it.

Here is a link that might be useful: an edelweiss business

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 9:14AM
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toomanyanimals(5b/MI)

I had Edelweiss for 3 years. I had no idea it needed rocky soil. It did great in my regular garden compost/clay soil. I really didn't like the look of it and traded it away.

I wonder how much more I would have liked it if I had given it the right kind of soil.

I started it from seed. It was very easy to do.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 2:23PM
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queeney63(pittsburgh pa)

I want to plant an Edelweiss at my mother-in-law's grave, which is in a shady area beneath pine trees. The soil seems to be loose and pretty well drained, but I am concerned about the shade. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 5:45PM
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hglenn_btinternet_com

I have Edelweiss flowering at the moment which I grew from seed sown in 2009. They press well for making cards. I think the one thing they don't like is a lot of rain. They need good drainage. Problem in Ireland is that we get a lot of rain. Hilary Glenn

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 7:07PM
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marguerite_gw

I've never seen Edelweiss in the flesh, as it were, but I understand that it really means something to those who saw it in its homeland, or whose ancestry actually is from those places where it grows naturally. I suppose no-one would plead that our Irish shamrock (if such a species can be identified) is the most beautiful plant on earth, but we go on about it quite a lot once a year.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 3:01PM
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