I love sharing its flower magic with you. It's a natural process that happens with just a few plants and Verbesinas are one of them~ (Have You Seen The Frost Flower? and Frost Flowers Blooming In The Garden. )
Although, more common on the first frosty mornings of fall, here in my Middle Tennessee Zone 7 garden we have all the right ingredients for frostweed to make its special appearance again and again.
All it takes is a warm winter day followed by a cold winter night. During the warm day, the verbesina's roots draw water up into the stem and later that night freezing temperatures force the sap from the stems where they freeze into sculptural ice candy flower curls. I think it's magical.
|This is my favorite of all my frost flower photos~December 2009
Bumble Bees love it. Green Metallic bees love it. Giant Carpenter Bees love it. Butterflies love it. In fact, it's an essential late summer nectar food for all visiting pollinators and it's an especially important food for the Monarch Butterfly. White crownbeard has been selected for monitoring by Monarch Watch~You can go here to read about participation in MW.
Right now, I am enjoying the candy curls of ice, but, in the back of my mind are images of summer blooms and happy pollinators. (In case you wondered, as appetizing as it is to pollinators, it's rarely munched on by deer or rabbits.)
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limeston