When we were hiking in the Alps some years ago, I spent days searching for the well-known mountain flower Edelweiss found only at 1800–3000 meters above sea level. I had read that besides being the national flower of Austria and Switzerland, the “noble white” had a kind of wolly petals and a velvet texture to the touch. All excited I finally found a mound with flowers and picked all five. I turned around and saw the sign: “To pick Edelweiss is forbidden!” Well, the damage was done. I brought them back to where we stayed and pressed them, and framed in our living-room today they remind us of a great vacation.
Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen
To me Edelweiss is one of the most beautiful flowers there is, and according to folklore; giving this flower as a gift to a loved one is a promise of dedication. Edelweiss is also a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. And whether you love or hate the film, here is the song once again.