Edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale), is a mountain flower belonging to the daisy or sunflower family Asteraceae.
The flower’s common name derives from the German word “Edelweiß”, which is a compound of edel “noble” and weiß “white”. The Latin name comes from Greek, and means “lion’s paw”. It can also be found under the name silver star. The plant is considered the “Flower of Emperors and Kings” and has become a symbol of free spirit and the majesty of nature.
Today it is a symbol of Switzerland and also of Australia. In Bulgaria it is an emblem of the Bulgarian Tourist Union.
There are more than twenty species of edelweiss in the world, the rarest species in the world being from Everest and the Himalayas.
In Bulgaria there is edelweiss in Pirin and Stara Planina.
The exceptional ability of edelweiss to grow in extreme cold and intense sunlight makes it a very special plant.
It has a number of healing properties. It is widely used in medicine, and edelweiss extract is used in natural cosmetics.
Edelweiss flowers are used in medicine for the preparation of drugs against diseases of the lungs, heart, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, abdominal pain, allergies, edema, wrinkles, aging, rheumatism, varicose veins; hemorrhoids.
Edelweiss is a protected species in Bulgaria. The plant is included in the “Red Book of Bulgaria”.