Historical Seed Catalogs: Flowers for springtime by Miss Mary E. Martin (1900) – 41 in a series
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THE EDELWEISS.— THE ALPINE SNOWFLOWER .
As white as snow- But lasts forever.
No other flower in the whole universe— not even the rarest orchid has cost so many lives as this chaste little Alpine beauty. A recent publication states that “scores of lives ” are lost annually by venturesome tourists in their efforts to obtain it. It is well known that travelers circling the globe will stop at the mountains of Switzerland and climb to almost inaccessible heights to be the proud possessors of the precious little treasure
It requires patience, courage, strength, endurance, andaperiloustaskitis. No wonder, therefore, that it|is prized so highly, that the ladies ornate their hats with it as trophies ; no wonder that gathering the plants in their native home by crafty guides, who know their value, is now prohibited for fear of their extermination. Like the wonderful Rose of Jericho from Syria and the Resurrection plant from Mexico, the EDELWEISS is the natural curiosity, for one may say the “flower never dies,” as it remains as white as the snow from which it sprung, and soft and velvety even longer than human life.
There is also some romance connected with it, it being an ancient local custom for the Tyrolian lover to present his affianced as an engagement flower, one that he has gathered himself from among the snow-clad rocks, and the higher the altitude the more cherished it is.
Certainly they are chaste and beautiful, as white as snow and as soft as velvet, growing sometimes 30 on one plant, with grayish white foliage, spreading Rosette. Naturally as hard as a rock, they grow in any way, on sandy moist soil, preferably gritty and well drained, or on raised rockwork, and even as a border plant, in chalky open soil lasting for years. In beauty, it would certainly prove a wonderful attraction, aside from its intrinsic value.
It is well known that owing to the scarcity of EDELWEISS flowers and the great demand for them, imitations made of white cloth, etc. , are palmed off on credulous and unsophisticated travelers. As a ” fad” for the coming Summer, I offer the dried flowers (especially imported for this purpose by me) to be used as a mountain symbol. They can be worn on the “hat, coat or waist.
Three very fine perfect flowers sent for IOc. by mail,
Fresh Edelweiss Seed, Pkt. IOc. Plants of Edelweiss, 15c. each ; 2 for 25c. Yours very truly,
MARY E. MARTIN, Floral Park, New York.
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