‘Small and white, clean and bright’? They only got as far as ‘small’ and ‘clean’, but did not get to ‘white’ and ‘bright’.

Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greet me. Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me. Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever. Edelweiss, edelweiss, bless my homeland forever.”

Why are there no corny songs like this about California poppy?

Although I never met edelweiss before, I always thought that it must be quite excellent. Those who are familiar with it where it grows wild in European mountains seem to believe so. It does not look like much in pictures, so must be much more impressive if experienced directly.

A colleague here who met it directly in Austria decided to grow some, and easily procured seed online. The seed was chilled in a freezer to simulate winter in the Alps, and sown just prior to the last of the rain as winter ended. They germinated, and the seedlings started to grow, but then mildewed. The potting soil that they were in was likely too rich and too damp.

After all, edelweiss naturally lives in limestone scree, where the climate is harsh. Such environments are less than hospitable to fungal pathogens that cause mildew. Rich and well watered medium that would be considered to be a good situation for so many other seedlings may not be what edelweiss seedlings are comfortable with.

There are already plans to try edelweiss again next year. Seed might get sown in sandier medium, and a bit later in the year, so that they are not so regularly dampened by rain. If they survive beyond their seedling stage, they will likely become more resilient as they get established in an appropriate landscape. There are a few situations here where sandy soil drains well.

Perhaps I will eventually experience edelweiss, and see what all the fuss is about.

8 thoughts on “Edelweiss – Fail

  1. Don’t bother with the Edelweiß. It’s not worth it. We can buy plants here in the store now and again, but they are nothing special. They grow wild in places where you need to have spikes on your feet to stop slipping on the snow. I have been on many mountains but have never seen them growing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even if I do not like it when it finally blooms, I will have gained bragging rights for growing it. I doubt it will ever be happy or look good here at such a low elevation. However, if it is happy, I will like it even more!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Um… I grew them years ago from seed. They grew well and flowered well, but they were simply… boring. I suppose they really look different if they’re emerging from a mountainous limestone pavement, or similar… But I’m all for taking on challenges! Go for it! You might get more interesting results :~))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sort of expect them to be less interesting than all the hype suggests. Actually, I do not expect to be impressed. Nonetheless, it is such a revered species that I now want to grow it just for bragging rights. . . . Then, I will be over it.


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