What Is The National Flower of Switzerland?
The national flower of Switzerland is Edelweiss. Its scientific name is Leontopodium alpinum (Lion’s Paw). Edelweiss is a mountainous flower which blooms annually between July and September. Flowers are one of the reasons for Switzerland’s beauty. Edelweiss is a star-shaped flower and belongs to the family of Sunflower and Daisy.
It is white in color and has wooly white hair like structure on its leaf. The highest military rank of Switzerland is the badge in the form of Edelweiss flower. It is cultivated widely and local folks have an emotional attachment to this flower. This is why, though there is no official national flower symbol of Switzerland, Edelweiss is considered as the unofficial national flower of Switzerland.
Facts about Switzerland’s National Flower (Edelweiss)
- Common Name: Edelweiss
- Genus: Leontopodium
- Species: alpinum
- Found in: Pyrenees, Alps and Carpathians
- Color: White
- Number of petals: 9-30
- Time of blooming: July to September
- Purpose: medicinal and decorative
- Symbolism: Love, purity, adventure, great sacrifice
Edelweiss is the favorite national flower symbol of the Swiss people. The edelweiss flower not only signifies beauty and purity, it can also be inspirational to many. This beautiful plant grows in the harsh climatic conditions of alpine region. The packed hair (why it is called Lion’s Paw) appears to be an adjustment to high altitudes which protect the plant from cold, humidity, temperature and ultraviolet radiation. The name Edelweiss comes from the German language in which “edel” stands for noble, and “weiss” literally means white.
It grows to heights of 16 inches and develops its flower into a double-star formation between the months of July and September. These patterns make it highly recognizable as a birth flower. The original home of the Edelweiss is in the high plateau of the Himalayas and Siberia, where there currently exist about 30 little-known species in the wild. The plant “migrated” to Europe during the Quaternary ice ages. Today it is found in the alpine region of Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Spain, and the Balkans at an altitude between 1,500 and 3,000 meters. The national floral symbol of Switzerland is indeed a unique beauty on the mountain tops.
The edelweiss flower is treated as the national symbol of love, devotion, dedication and patriotism for the people of Switzerland. In the Swiss army, the highest ranks (brigadier general and higher) have badges in the shape of edelweiss flowers. Edelweiss Air, which is an international airline based in Switzerland, is named after the flower, and it also appears in its logo. The Edelweiss flower has since time ancient been valued as medicine against the disorders of men and animals; also it is the “Ultimate Love Attractions” of the mountains. Edelweiss flower is non-toxic and has been traditionally used in herbal medicine as a remedy against gastric, stomach and respiratory (inhaling, breathing) diseases. It is also said that it contains anti-aging substances. Because of the non-toxic properties of the edelweiss, it has high demand from the cosmetic industry.
This stunningly silver flower is also the symbol of the Swiss national tourism organization. The edelweiss flower can be recognized from a distance because of its silver shine in the light. This shining point is also a signal for honey-seeking insects. Traditionally, giving this flower to a loved one is a promise of dedication.
To sum up, Edelweiss is the people’s favorite national flower of Switzerland. Although it is an unofficial national symbol of Switzerland, It outstandingly represents and glorifies the spirit of Swiss culture and symbolizes the dedication, love and patriotism.