'Frost flowers' sprout on chilly Texas mornings

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by Freddy Hunt / Kens5.com

kvue.com

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 5:26 AM

BOERNE, Texas -- Robert Chesser stumbled upon a field of delicate frost flowers while walking his son to school on a chilly Wednesday morning.

"When I tried to pick them up, they would break off the stem. Looking closely at them, you can see they are fine layers of ice. Very beautiful and delicate," he said in an email to KVUE's sister station KENS in San Antonio.

Temperatures dipped into the 20s overnight throughout the Texas Hill Country, marking an end to the unseasonably warm winter thus far.

According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife website, conditions were perfect for frost flowers to flourish:

"Frost flowers develop when air temperatures are freezing but the ground still is warm enough for the plant’s root system to be active. Plant juices flow from these roots up into the stem, where the cold air freezes them. As the moisture in the plant freezes, the ice crystals push out through the stem."

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