edelweiss

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edelweiss

(ā`dəlvīs), perennial asteraster
[Gr.,=star], common name for the Asteraceae (Compositae), the aster family, in North America, name for plants of the genus Aster, sometimes called wild asters, and for a related plant more correctly called China aster (Callistephus chinensis
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 plant (genus Leontopodium) found at high altitudes in the mountains of Europe, Asia, and South America. It is about 6 in. (15.2 cm) tall with woolly-white floral leaves and small heads of yellow disk flowers surrounded by silvery bracts. Despite its inconspicuous appearance it is esteemed (chiefly by the Swiss) as a symbol of purity and inaccessibility. In Switzerland it is protected by law. Probably because of its associations it has some popularity as a rock garden and pot plant. Edelweiss is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

edelweiss

of Switzerland. [Flower Symbolism: Jobes, 490]

edelweiss

a small alpine flowering plant, Leontopodium alpinum, having white woolly oblong leaves and a tuft of attractive floral leaves surrounding the flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)