Frost Flowers

This is the perfect time of year for the formation of Frost (or Ice) Flowers. The conditions for the formation of Frost Flowers are pretty simple: a unfrozen wet ground + below freezing temperatures at the surface. They form just above the ground surface around stems of plants, shrubs and even small trees. They are formed as sap and water in the stem of the plants expands (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 tree branches the freezing water is squeezed through the pores of the plant forming long thin strings of ice that look like hair or plastic. Frost Flowers are extremely delicate and the slightest touch destroys them. They are also know as: “ice flowers”, “frost castles”, “frost beard”, “ice castles”, “ice ribbons”, or “ice blossoms”. Frost Flowers can be found anywhere but the best places to see them are in river/stream valleys and in extremely shaded areas.

Advertisements

There are no comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: