Frost Flower in Western Missouri
December 24, 2013
Photographer: Tommy Hornbeck
Summary Author: Tommy Hornbeck
Frost flowers form when an early freeze kills a plant but the root system continues moving water up into the stem. When the water reaches the part of the stem that was ruptured by the cold, it slowly exits and then freezes. As water continues to rise, it pushes the ice away from the stem in unpredictable and often bizarre and beautiful shapes. The lovely specimen shown above, found in Nevada, Missouri, grew from the larger stem just to the right of center in the photo. It measured about 6 in (15 cm) in height. When exposed to above freezing temperatures it quickly vanished. Photo taken on the morning of December 6, 2013.
Photo Details: Camera Nikon E8700 camera; 1/90 second exposure; f-3; ISO 50; 12.7 focal length.