Frost Flower: it’s not actually a flower, but dainty ribbons of ice crystals that form on some MO native plants. It can usually be seen late fall-early winter. When the ground is still warm and a hard freeze occurs, the plants’ stems are ruptured. The roots are still sending up water and nutrients from the soil, so this pushes through the ruptured stem and freezes upon exit. As the sap continues to push out the stem, we see the result: Gorgeous ice formations.

What plants can you look at to see frost flower? Common Dittany (Cunila origanoides), Stinkweed (Pluchea camphorate), Crownbeard (Verbesina virginica)

Best time to see it? Early-mid morning before the sun melts it.

Picture is a frost flower in Forest Park on Jan. 6, 2015.

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