You can email me at teri-gonewalkabout2@hotmail.com My blog archives and post labels are way down at the bottom of the page.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Frost Flowers


Driving into town, Himself and I noticed along the road what looked like cotton batting blown up against weeds. A curious thing... that got even more curious as we drove for miles still seeing it. We finally just had to pull over and see what it was.

It was ICE!

Incredible, beautiful ice formations around the base of plants. Wow! Each one was like a delicate glass sculpture. They were so amazing I had to take some photos to share.

When we got back home I searched "frost" and found this in the Wikipedia:

"Frost flowers is the name commonly given to a condition in which thin layers of ice are extruded from long-stemmed plants in autumn or early winter. The thin layers of ice are often formed into exquisite patterns that curl into "petals" that resemble flowers.

The formation of frost flowers, also known as "ice flowers," is apparently dependent on a freezing weather condition occurring when the ground is not already frozen. The sap in the stem of the plants will expand (water expands when frozen), causing long, thin cracks to form along the length of the stem. Water is then drawn through these cracks via capillary action and freezes upon contact with the air. As more water is drawn through the cracks it pushes the thin ice layers further from the stem, causing a thin "petal" to form. In the case of woody plants and (living or dead) tree branches the freezing water is squeezed through the pores of the plant forming long thin strings of ice that look uncannily like hair i.e. "frost beard".

The petals of frost flowers are very delicate and will break when touched. They usually melt or sublimate when exposed to sunlight and are usually visible in the early morning or in shaded areas.

Examples of plants that often form frost flowers are white crownbeard (Verbesina virginica), commonly called frostweed, yellow ironweed (Verbesina alternifolia), and Helianthemum canadense. They have also been observed growing from fallen branches of conifers and contain enough hydraulic power to strip the bark off."













2 comments:

  1. Wow...These frost flowers looks wonderful. I have never seen anything like it. Wish to create a bouquet of ice flower.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fascinating! Thanks for sharing these beautiful, natural ice sculptures!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for coming walkabout with me! I enjoy comments and will try to answer questions quickly if I have a way to reply to you. Sorry I've had to put the word verification back on... the spam jerks have been overloading me lately.

However... I don't approve comments whose purpose is to spam. My readers don't deserve such garbage. I also do not allow anonymous comments. If you have something to say, then put your name to it.