One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A European mountain plant that has woolly white bracts around its small flowers and downy gray-green leaves.
Leontopodium alpinum, family Compositae
- ‘Even the dignified Sir Alec Guinness was so enamoured of his co-star in ‘Fall of the Roman Empire’ that he searched the Swiss mountains for a rare edelweiss to lay at her feet.’
- ‘‘Wave your edelweiss to distract the Nazis,’ Sister Kate instructs, ‘so the von Trapps can make their escape.’’
- ‘I am now at 6,000 ft, so my lungs pump that pure air greedily and I am thrilled to find early-flowering edelweiss in the far-as-the-eye-can-see wild-flower pastures.’
- ‘Green People, a company that specialises in natural bodycare products, has formulated a sun protection range that includes edelweiss, a plant that grows at such high altitudes that it has its own built-in SPF (sun protection factor).’
- ‘There's a sprig of edelweiss, and a little square of fabric to hold up when the inspiration strikes Maria to make the children new clothes from the curtains.’
- ‘High on the exposed hillsides yellow poppies danced blousily in the wind whilst sprays of blue forget-me-nots were interspersed with edelweiss and the stalks of wild onion plants.’
- ‘The area is also home to many beech forests and at higher altitudes there are even alpine roses and edelweiss.’
- ‘Celebrated in The Sound of Music, the edelweiss has white star-shaped flowers and grows on rocks and in crevices.’
- ‘Near one set of small waterfalls the first time I saw a small group of the South Island edelweiss, [Leucogenes grandiceps] in a charming location close to the water.’
- ‘We found rare edelweiss by the path and picnicked on a grassy shelf, imagining free climbers, like spiders on the soaring pinnacles around us, mocking our apprehensions.’
- ‘Bags will be embellished with butterflies, edelweiss, feathers, motor bike straps, stabbed with decorative applied brooches and finished with chunky short shoulder chain straps.’
- ‘Large carnivores, it turned out, were attracting people who wouldn't come just for the edelweiss and primrose.’
Mid 19th century: from German, from edel ‘noble’ + weiss ‘white’.
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