The hard-to-access edelweiss is possibly the best known alpine flower, and is protected in many countries. The edelweiss and similarly fragile plants are highly endangered by climate change. Find out more in the notes.
Spotted on a rainy day as part of 2 small groups of 3 plants in a rocky limestone, alt. 2400 m ASL. Due to the protected nature of this plant the indicated area is not exactly that of spotting, although the habitat is suitable. Typically found between 2000–2900 m ASL.
Each edelweiss bloom consists of five to six small flower heads which are surrounded by woolly bracts in star formation. These hairs protect the plant from the cold. Conservation organizations have warned for about a decade that even a slight rise in temperature could place sensitive mountain plants such as the edelweiss in the Alps and other mountain ranges at risk. A study published in February in Nature Climate Change suggests increasing temperatures are having a greater impact on alpine vegetation than was first thought. Cold-adapted mountain plant species are gradually replaced by warm-adapted species. In this study 897 vegetation samples from 60 different summits in all European mountain systems were analysed. These surveys were originally carried out in 2001 and again seven years later in 2008. http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v... See also: http://www.bitsofscience.org/climate-cha... My previous edelweiss spotting is at: http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/671...
Lat: 46.67, Long: 10.25
Spotted on Jun 26, 2012
Submitted on Jul 22, 2012