On frosty mornings I’ve continued to enjoy frost flowers on our dittany (Cunila origanoides) and I recently saw them for the first time on white crownbeard (Verbesina virginica), also known as frostweed. I planted it last spring because it’s another host for frost flowers. Even so, I was taken by surprise at its first display of ice crystals.
While the dittany plants are small and inconspicuous, the crownbeard is 5 feet tall with seven sturdy stems. And instead of small, dainty ice formations, the ones on the crownbeard were profuse, splitting and shredding the stems as the moisture broke through before freezing.
I continue to be amazed at the beauty and variety of designs in these fragile formations.
I assume the roots of the crownbeard are much larger than that of the dittany and will likely hold more moisture. How long will I continue to see frost flowers? And how will later formations compare with these? It’s great to be able to watch for the answers in our own backyard.