Today is Day “E”; 7 days or 11 days left to pack! Hopefully no one has guessed the code word yet. 🙂 The topic of the day is Edelweiss, the beautiful (yet slightly strange looking and fuzzy) iconic white flower associated with Switzerland. Switzerland does not officially have an official flower, but the Edelweiss has been claimed as the unofficial national flower. Here are some facts I found on the internet. And of course these are ALL TRUE because they are posted on the internet!
- The original home of the Edelweiss is in the high plateau of the Himalayas and Siberia. The plant came to Europe during the Quaternary ice ages. (Bonus fact: According to the highly factual wikipedia: There have been five known ice ages in the Earth’s history, with the Quaternary Ice Age happening now!)
- Today edelweiss is found in the alpine regions of Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Spain, and the Balkans at an altitude between 1,500 and 3,000 metres.
- MOM: Read this one!! Is the edelweiss protected from pilfering gardeners? No, not at the national level in Switzerland, but where it actually exists, YES! Ticino, Graubünden, Valais, Vaud, Fribourg, Bern, Appenzell and the whole of central Switzerland=don’t pick!
- Edelweiss is sometimes called: “The star of the snows”
- Adolf Hitler’s favorite flower? The Edelweiss! Yowza! Naturally the Nazis use it as a symbol. Don’t know what it symbolized. It does kind of look like really really blond hair? or clean fresh snow?
- The edelweiss did resist Nazism and became a symbol of German resistance against Hitler and his goons toward the end of WWII.
- In 1935, the German Wehrmacht formed an alpine unit which used the flower as part of the insignia on its uniforms.
- The “Edelweiss pirates” were groups of young workers who had turned against Nazism and were active as urban guerrillas against the regime.
- And of course, we have to mention the Von Trappe family and their Edelweiss song they sang as they escaped Rolph and zee Germans (‘zee’ is how Dan would pronounce ‘the’, and, again, I think he is cool so I write like he babbles)
- Edelweiss was granted to the German alpine troops for their bravery
- High ranking Swiss officers badges show edelweiss rather than stars to indicate rank
- For the hockey fans: Polish professional ice hockey team MMKS Podhale Nowy Targ use an Edelweiss as their emblem. Maybe we should invest in some edelweiss to combat the nasty foul hockey stench in our garage. Yuk!
- Many more countries, coins, groups, and military units claim the edelweiss to enhance their insignia.
Overview: even though Adolph liked Edelweiss, you can like edelweiss as well without fearing you will be labeled as a war criminal. Let’s go look for some edelweiss! But look only, don’t touch or pick! 🙂 The below picture is the Jungfrau a beautifully decorated boat on Lake Brienz in Bernese-Oberland. Notice the many large Edelweiss painted on the boat.