Leontopodium palibinianum
Common Name: Siberian edelweiss 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Temperate Asia, Siberia, Mongolia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies


Best grown in cool summer climates in sandy to gritty, neutral to alkaline, sharply-drained soils in full sun. Thrives in soils containing abundant lime. Dislikes the heat and humidity of a typical St. Louis summer.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Leontopodium palibinianum, commonly known as edelweiss or palibin’s edelweiss, is a clumping, loosely-tufted, herbaceous perennial wildflower of the aster family that is native to rocky, limestone, alpine areas of northeastern Asia (Siberia and northern China). Each plant features narrow, entire, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, gray-tomentose basal leaves from which rises a woolly white stem to 9-15” tall topped in summer with small, discoid flower heads consisting only of white (sometimes tinged with pale yellow) disk florets which are crowded into dense terminal cymes subtended by a conspicuous, star-shaped arrangement of showy, woolly, leaf-like bracts which are densely white-hairy on the upper surface but greenish beneath.

Genus name comes from Greek leon meaning lion and podion meaning foot. Flowers and bract-like leaves purportedly resemble a lion's paw.

Common name comes from German edel meaning noble and weiss meaning white.

The related species Leontopodium alpinum is the European edelweiss referred to in the song ‘Edelweiss’ composed by Rodgers and Hammerstein for The Sound of Music.


No serious insect or disease problems. Difficult to grow well in the St. Louis climate. Crown rot will develop in overly-moist, poorly-drained soils.


Rock gardens. Alpine areas. Raised beds or border fronts.