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Nature Frost Flowers

Photo Story: “Frost Flowers”

Here in the Ozarks, “frost flowers” form on stems of ironweed in the fall. The stems pull moisture up from damp ground. The moisture freezes on the stem and adds to what's already frozen there.
More moisture continues to travel up the stem. So more keeps freezing and pushing the “petals” further out. The “flower” keeps growing until the morning sun melts it.
Water in frozen soil can no longer travel up the stems. That's why “frost flowers” don't bloom in winter.

Photos and text by Peter Callaway.

This is the Web site of the Bryant Watershed Education Project, based in West Plains, Missouri. Our site is a toolkit for exploring the Bryant Creek, North Fork, Eleven Point and Upper Spring watersheds in the southern Missouri Ozarks.
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