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Alpen Edelweiß, Leontopodium alpinum 2.JPG
Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Gnaphalieae[1]
Genus: Leontopodium
(Pers.) R.Br. ex Cass.
L. shinanense

Leontopodium is a genus of plants in the daisy or sunflower family The genus is native to Europe and Asia.[2][3] The fuzzy and somewhat stocky "petals" (technically, bracts) could be thought of as somewhat resembling lions' paws —hence the genus name combining léōn (lion) and pódion (foot).[4][5][6]

The genus includes edelweiss (L. alpinum[7][8]), a well-known plant from the mountains of Europe. The term edelweiss can, more rarely, refer to other members of the genus.[9] The plant has been regarded as a national symbol of Austria, worn as a cap emblem by Austrian troops and displayed on Austrian coins.[10] A song about the plant, written by Oscar Hammerstein, was featured in the musical production The Sound of Music.[11]



  1. ^ Randall J. Bayer, Christopher F. Puttock, and Scot A. Kelchner (2000). "Phylogeny of South African Gnaphalieae (Asteraceae) based on two noncoding chloroplast sequences". American Journal of Botany (Botanical Society of America) 87 (2): 259–272. doi:10.2307/2656914. JSTOR 2656914. PMID 10675314. 
  2. ^ "Leontopodium". Digital Flora of Taiwan. 
  3. ^ "Leontopodium". Flora of Pakistan. 
  4. ^ λέων, πόδιον, πούς. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  5. ^ Flora of China Vol. 20-21 Page 778 火绒草属 huo rong cao shu Leontopodium R. Brown ex Cassini, Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris. 1819: 144. 1819.
  6. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Leontopodium includes photos and range maps
  7. ^ "edelweiss". The Free Dictionary by farlex. 
  8. ^ "edelweiss". Encyclopædia Britannica online. 
  9. ^ Iza Goroff (July 2004). "Plant of the Month: Leontopodium souliei". 
  10. ^ Meriam, Ray (1999). Gebirgsjaeger: Germany's Mountain Troops. World War II Arsenal 3. Merriam Press. p. 44. ISBN 1576381633. 
  11. ^ Edelweiss in "The Sound of Music"
  12. ^ Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist search for Leontopodium