Winter Phenomenon: Frost Flowers

Some of you started your New Year's Day with an unusual sight in your yard. These small icy sculptures called frost flowers.



According to the National Weather Service, "Frost flowers are thin layers (perhaps credit card thickness) of ice that are extruded through slits from the stems of white or yellow wingstem plants, among others."

For frost flowers to form, you need temperatures at or below freezing, soil that is above freezing and moist, and a plant's stem that has not been previously frozen that season.

"The water in the plant's stem is drawn upward by capillary action from the ground. It expands as it freezes and splits the stem vertically and freezes on contact with the air," continued the Weather Service. 

These ribbons of icy curls expand, as moisture continues to move upward from the plant's stem. Like a snowflake, no two frost flowers are alike.

Did you see and take a photo of a frost flower? Share them with us by using #KVUE or by email at snapshot@kvue.com.

© 2018 KVUE-TV


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