Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) is a member of the daisy family and is a wildflower of the Swiss Alps, best suited to growing in a well-drained rock garden.
The plant is extremely hardy and has a fibrous root system that helps anchor it on rocky slopes. The thick, furry leaves help prevent moisture loss and form a barrier against wind and rain. Plants form a low clump of silvery grey foliage, bearing odd clusters of woolly white flowers in early summer. It grows best in regions with cool summers. Drought-tolerant once established. The plants add interest to small spaces with star-shaped white flowers and silver-green foliage. At only 4 to 12 inches tall, these plants fit into gaps between rocks or can be grown as a ground cover. Can be grown in full sun or partial shade.
Edelweiss grows well from seed, but the plant needs a period of cold weather before germinating. Sow the seeds in late winter or early spring, before the last frost. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil and water them gently. It does well in arid conditions and doesn’t tolerate soggy soils. Once the plant is established, it rarely needs water and additional moisture should be suspended entirely in winter.