I think most of us still remembered this song from movie “Sound of Music”.  “Edelweiss, edelweiss, bless my homeland forever.”  Yes, my topic is the edelweiss, a kind of alpine flower.
    The most striking geographic feature on the Europe Continent is the Alps Mountain Range, commonly called the Alps.  The Alps covers most of the Austria and Switzerland as well as significant areas of Germany, France and Italy.  The story in the “Sound of Music” was happened in Austria.
    If you visit the Alps during its relatively brief spring through fall, that is, between June and September, you will find that the hills are all covered with tiny, multicolored petals.  With luck, it is still possible to find the rare edelweiss growing on the mountain slope.
    “Edelweiss”, the word originated from two German words, the “EDEL”, which means noble, elegance, and the “WEISS”, which means white.  Edelweiss is a kind of perennial herb, with sage green leaves.  From July to August in each year, is its blooming season.  The flower of edelweiss has a yellow center and five white star-like petals surrounded. It has become a symbol of Alps, as well as the national flower of Austria and Switzerland.
    Inhabitant lived in the Alps usually call this flower as “Cloud Flowers”, “Blossoms of Snow” or  “queen of the mountain flowers”.  They believed that only the elite could reach the edelweiss.  So, there are always some brave boys that climbed on the cliff to pick up the edelweiss for their girls.  In their mind, only edelweiss could prove their strength and courage.  But lots of the boys sacrificed their lives for the love.
    Actually, there is not enough edelweiss for the collectors.  Edelweiss once was in a severe danger of extinct.  Now the governments of the Alpine countries have enacted laws to protect them.  So, if you happened found an edelweiss, don’t touch it, or you will be fined.
    Although edelweiss is a symbol of the Alps, it was transplanted from middle Asia a several centuries ago.  We can still find its cousins in the mountain areas in our country.  Now, the edelweiss has also been brought to the new worlds, that is the Aramaic, Australia and New Zealand.
    Let me end my speech with a verse of the song, “Edelweiss, may you bloom and grow forever.”


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