Edelweiss is a wonderful and unique flower – it is a mountain flower belonging to the daisy family… The flower prefers rocky terrain to inhabit (which makes it even more special!). The flower is a national symbol in Austria and also appears in Switzerland, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Mongolia. When given to a loved one, the flower symbolizes dedication to your romantic partner. The story is quite simple why. In order to find an edelweiss, one must look hard and climb high mountains (it is work to find one of these lovely flowers), thus when given to your love, it is a symbol of your dedication to that person. However, it is worth noting that the flower has declined due to overcollection (and is now protected by laws), so perhaps if you find one in the alpine mountains you hike, it might be best to symbolically share that you found this for your lover… and there are plenty of souvenirs representing this flower, rather than picking it from the wild.
The Sound of Music famously has a song for it… the lyrics go like this:
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
Bless my homeland forever.
The charm and national symbolism of this flower gives me so much nostalgia for my second homeland, Austria. Also, given the rarity of this flower (which gives it a certain magic), there are easy comparisons to the magic of Christmas, which is described beautifully in this hymn above by English poet Frances Ridley Havergal in 1877. In whichever capacity you choose to enjoy the presence of edelweiss, make sure to honor it when you encounter it. This flower is incredibly special for a reason.