Thanksgiving’s right around the corner. If you close your eyes, you can almost smell the turkey, gravy, and dressing! The days continue to get shorter too, as the nights grow longer. It seems that just a handful of hours after the sun rises, it sets. Each time I drive home from work, I notice more Christmas lights illuminating the way. Winter’s a comin’!
What that also means is that it’s that time again for FROST FLOWERS! These aren’t flowers you can buy at the store. There the most affordable of all. They’re free! All you need to do is go for a walk early on one of these freezing fall mornings, and you might stumble across a couple….or a dozen!
Kim found this beauty this morning, in her yard. It grew through the night, blossoming into this spectacle of nature!
How’d it form, you wonder? The freezing weather overnight caused the plant stem to burst in several places. All the while, the warm roots beneath the ground continued to send sap up through the plant that leaked into the frozen surroundings, forming what looked like an icy flower. Frost flowers take time to develop, growing gradually through the night. They can easily form during the day as well. What’s key is that it’s below freezing.
Might you see these at anytime during the winter? The answer is no. This is a weather phenomenon that only happens toward the beginning of the cold season, while many plants are still living.
This won’t happen with just any plant either. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, frost flowers form most often in that state on dittany, stinkweeds, and white cornbeard plants. Since Missouri is just one state away, chances are you’ll have luck finding those same plants here in Tennessee producing these icy floral miracles.
Another hard freeze is expected tonight, so if you’d like a chance at witnessing a frost flower in person, plan on an early nature walk tomorrow. After tomorrow, you’ll have to wait at least another week before the next bitterly cold night returns.
Speaking of, we’re tracking milder weather and more rain, just in time for Thanksgiving travel. We’ll have an update for you this evening, on Channel 4 News, beginning at 4pm.