Everyone knows of the fame of the small Edelweiss of the Alps and every tourist who travels through Switzerland learns the mysterious story of how they grow under overhanging cliff’s which means the risk of life when one wishes to get them. But ideal plants can be grown in our own gardens just as easily as any other plant. They are one of the hardiest of plants and withstand severe Winters. The plant is low, growing from 4 inches to 12 inches high, and is densely covered with a whitish wool. The leaves are silvery-gray and lie almost flat on the ground. From the center grows a flower stem which has three or four star-like flowers. The true flowers themselves are small and inconspicuous, but they are surrounded by this star-like cluster of wooly leaves. This Edelweiss is called Leontopodium (Gnaphalium) alpinum, a sort 6 inches tall, bearing three or four flowers. L. sihiricum has flowers twice the size of the Alpine Edelweiss but without the sentimental associations.
Use: This is an ideal plant for the rockery.
GENERAL. If these plants are placed where they will be exposed fully to the sun, they will be a greenish gray, but they will be a creamy white if planted in partial shade. Any good sandy garden soil will do in which some limestone has been mixed. If the plant is placed between two rather closely fitting rocks with plenty of sandy soil beneath, it will succeed nearly as well as it does in the Alps.
PROPAGATION. They are propagated by seeds sown indoors in early Spring to be placed in the open border about the first of May; or by division of the roots in the Fall