The beautiful silver flower edelweiss, which grows high in the mountains, forms the basis of no small number of legends. In France, edelweiss is known as the "Alpine star", since the cliffs on which it grows look as if sprinkled with stars. In Italy, edelweiss is called a "silver rock flower".
The Latin name of edelweiss Leontopodium means "lion's paw". Edelweiss is also the name for the flower of Prometheus.
According to Ancient Greek accounts, Prometheus, who gave the gift of fire to humans, was punished for this deed by being nailed to rocks, where edelweiss now grows.
Another of the legends about edelweiss tells of a princess who was astoundingly beautiful. The time came when she had to choose a husband and the potential candidates were many. But the princess was in no hurry. She came up with a challenge - she would marry whoever brought her an edelweiss from the high-reaching cliffs.
The princess knew that her task could not be completed easily since edelweiss grew on nearly inaccessible cliffs. Many of the suitors gave up, others tried to climb the high cliffs and paid with their lives for the desire to have the princess as a wife.
Only one of candidates for the hand of the princess was lucky enough. He climbed for days on end along the sheer cliffs, until he finally managed to reach the beautiful flower. On his way back he had to overcome many dangers. Eventually, he returned to the princess.
She was so utterly happy that she would finally have the flower she had dreamed of. But the lucky man, who had reached the flower, was disappointed by the princess when he saw her once again. The fact that so many good men had perished because of her seemed unbearable to him and he lost any desire to marry her.
A different legend tells of a couple in love, whose parents forbade them to become husband and wife.
So they climbed up the steep cliffs and jumped, hand in hand, without any fear of facing death. After they jumped, the cliffs became covered with beautiful flowers, which looked like stars.
From then on it is believed that if a man gifts a woman with an edelweiss she would forever belong to him and never look at another man. And if anyone should be bold enough to climb the sheer cliffs and pick a beautiful edelweiss himself, he would always be lucky in love.