| Edelweiss |
| Leontopodium alpinum|
| Uses: Medicinal/Industrial
|| Duration: Perennial (hardy in zones 5-9) |
| When to Sow: Spring/Late Summer/Early Fall
|| Ease of Germination: Easy |
No plant symbolizes the alpine regions of Europe quite like the edelweiss. To the Swiss, Austrians and Bavarians, the white-woolly flowers of the edelweiss are instantly emblematic of a simple, wholesome mountain lifestyle. To those expats living in other lands, the diminutive edelweiss is a talisman to be depicted on walls, in books, if not planted in the garden. So too was edelweiss very much part of Richters, and for years we offered it as an alpine ornamental. But edelweiss has important medicinal and cosmetic uses, and is now grown as a cultivated crop in Europe for those purposes. Traditionally, it was used as a tea to treat diarrhea and dysentery, and cooked in milk with honey and butter. It was also used to treat respiratory problems, including tuberculosis. But in the future it is expected that the cosmetic industry will employ edelweiss to neutralize free radicals and prevent the formation of superoxides -- compounds associated with the signs of aging such as wrinkles. Due to its bioflavonoid content, the herb also strengthens the walls of capillaries and veins and can be used to treat varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and other vascular problems associated with aging. Has exciting commercial potential. Easy to grow in any well-drained sunny location. Ht. 15cm/6in.