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  1. #1
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    Default Ice Crystals at base of plant stem

    First time I've ever seen ice crystals forming at the base of a plant. No other plants near the ones I photographed had the formations. 15-20 plants had the crystals. A couple formations were a foot long beginning from the base of the plant. The wonders of nature :-) Over night temperatures were in upper 20's. Daytime temps go into the 40's. Area where plants grow are along a grass edge of woods and close to the area is a moist area where cypress trees grow. Crystals soon melt after sun-up

    DSCF3716.JPGDSCF3720.JPGDSCF3719.JPG
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  2. #2
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    This could be an adaptation against frost damage. The plant surface could have ice nucleation sites to catalyze ice crystal formation. The formation of ice is exothermic so this would keep the cellular fluids inside warmer than ambient temperature.

  3. #3
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    Those are called frost flowers. They form on the stems of a wildflower called Crownsbeard when the water in the stem freezes and is extruded through splits in the stems. Crownsbeard is commonly called Frostflower because of this phenomenon.

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    Gee you guys are good. :-) Thank you!!!

    Photos of the plant are on google just as you named the plant, google had them....amazing!!! I googled Crownsbeard Frostflower and this is what comes up:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Crownbeard+Frostflower&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS72 1US721&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwib7IPe so_YAhVk5oMKHcvYCBEQ_AUIDSgE&biw=1245&bih=556


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    Ok, the same group of plants produced the frosty formations that you see in my video taken yesterday morning. Oh my!!!!!how in the world can such awesome creations be made for us to see. Great way to start the new year :-)


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    I googled and found some time lapse videos of the flowers forming:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qze78h3wD2o

  7. #7
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    I was able to get some close up pics the same day I did the video. These formations are hard to imagine how they form.


    DSCF3734.JPGDSCF3733.JPG

  8. #8
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    I always figured it was water pushed from plant roots

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I always figured it was water pushed from plant roots
    It has been an awesome experience to have found these formations. The first photos were of green stemmed formations and then the next time I saw the formations were from dried out brown stems, mostly being formed from the base of the plant.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frost_flowerFormation[edit]The formation of frost flowers is 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.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),[1] and Helianthemum canadense. They have also been observed growing from fallen branches of conifers and contain enough hydraulic power to strip the bark off.

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