Many thanks to CherriesWalks of the UBC Botanical Garden Forums for sharing today’s photograph. If I recall correctly, it’s the first photograph from Switzerland. The original was posted in this thread on the garden’s photos & art forums. Much appreciated!
Leontopodium, broken down, means “lion’s paw”, but I don’t think this is ever used as the common name. Instead, the German name for the plant is used — edel, meaning “noble” and weiß, meaning “white” — hence, edelweiss.
As is well-known, this is a species of alpine areas in south central and southeastern Europe. Overharvesting for use as a dried flower, plus its symbolic value, has led to it becoming a protected plant in many countries in the area.