German artist Rita Fürstenau has created a cross-stitch-style Google Doodle to celebrate the edelweiss, the most romantic of Alpine blooms.
The common name for Leontopodium nivale, which means lion’s foot, the word edelweiss was first discovered in writing on March 5, 1784. Derived from the German for “noble” and “white,” the downy flower has become a mainstay of Alpine folklore, whose tales often feature heroes journeying to the mountains to pluck the flower as a token for their beloved.
So deeply is it associated with love and fidelity that giving one as a gift was once considered equivalent to giving an engagement ring, according to Google.
The edelweiss is also synonymous with the Alps and the summer; it appears on the Austrian two Euro cent coin, is the brand name of a beer, and is painted on planes operated by a Swiss airline.
According to Google, the edelweiss was once on the brink of extinction but is now abundant across Europe.