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ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Edelweiss, Lion’s foot, glacier star, Silver star
Botanical name: Leontopodium jacotianum    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Leontopodium jacotianum var. gurhwalense, Leontopodium jacotianum var. jacotianum

In the comic book Asterix in Switzerland, the druid Getafix sends off Asterix and Obelix to Alpian mountains in search of a flower called Silver star, which was to be an important ingradient of his potion. This flower, Edelweiss, is that revered silver star. Edelweiss is a perennial, prostrate herb, up to 25 cm high. Basal leaves are lanceshaped or linear lanceshaped, pointed to somewhat tapering, 7-25 mm long. Inflorescence bracts are lanceshaped to oblong elliptic, 8-22 x 2-6 mm, radiating, forming a prominent star-like structure, different in colour and texture of indumentum from the stem leaves, densely whitish, rarely brownish woolly; usually dark brown at the tip. Flower-heads in branch-ends clusters, 4-10, all female or predominantly male or female; phyllaries 2-3-seriate, lanceshaped to inverted-lanceshaped, 3-5 mm long, brown, scarious above, pointed. Cypselas velvet-hairy or nearly hairless about 1 mm long; pappus setae white, plumose. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.

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