It came to me in a box with an antique wedding head dress so thought it may have been a love token of some sort. Knowing that most Victorian flowers had a "meaning" I was intrigued to know why a bride had packed it away for so long. The head dress was so pristine it looked as if it had never been used.
This morning I received an email telling me it is Eidelweiss so looked up its meaning I found 2 tales:
In the country of eternal snows, lived a white lady: the Queen of Snows. She was surrounded by many small wights, who were in charge of her protection. Armed with spears of crystal, they protected their queen from the intrusion of stranger folk and those who might do her harm.
When a hunter or an imprudent mountaineer approached the beautiful lady, she was often pleased by the visit, and she would encourage him with her smiles and her eyes to join her. Fascinated by the gentle eyes of the beautiful lady, the mountaineer forgets the danger and continues to climb…and he climbs higher and higher with the hope of seeing more closely this beautiful face.
Confronted by this apparent danger, the wights take to their spears and push back the suitor until he falls into a precipice.
The white lady at the sight of that horrible spectacle began to cry; the tears then ran along the glacier and flowed to the pastures, and when arriving near the rocks, they changed into Edelweiss.
The symbolic meanings of the edelweiss flower are daring, courage and noble purity. These meanings are derived from the plant’s ability to grow in harsh mountain climates and from its pure white coloring.
The edelweiss has had cultural significance to military operations in the Alps. In 1907, the Austrian-Hungarian Army made the edelweiss the symbol of its Alpine divisions. A metal badge depicted the flower on soldiers' caps. During World War II, German soldiers stationed in the Alps sought edelweiss to wear on their uniforms. Edelweiss was considered a symbol of bravery because it was dangerous and difficult to climb up to the high, craggy areas where the flowers grew to obtain them.
I think I prefer the second version do you?
A la prochaine mes belles.....................