Himalayan Edelweiss
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Himalayan Edelweiss
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Himalayan Edelweiss
Botanical name: Leontopodium himalayanum    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Leontopodium himalayanum var. himalayanum

Himalayan Edelweiss is a clustered perennial plant, a close cousine of the famous Edelweiss. It has several densely woolly haired stems, 5-15 cm high. The root-stock is branched above, covered with old leaf-bases. Densely white-woolly, linear pointed leaves are 1.5-3 cm long. Basal leaves are broader, in lax rosette. Flower-heads are white, and turn brown as they age. They occur in globular, dense, flat-topped clusters at the top of stems, 2 cm across. These are surrounded by much longer white-woolly leaves, just below them, spreading to 3-5 cm. The bracts are papery, purple-tipped. Himalayan Edelweiss is seen in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan, Tibet, W. China, at altitudes of 3000-4500 m. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.

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