|You can see capillary action in the above stem|
All that is needed 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. The scientific term is capillary action, but
I think it's magic.
Verbesina's quirky magical winter behavior is just one of the many reasons it's a queen among the rough and tumble flowering natives in my garden. 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/early fall nectar food for all visiting pollinators and it's an especially important food for the Monarch Butterfly. It's has been selected for monitoring by Monarch Watch, an organization devoted to education, conservation and research about/for the Monarch Butterfly. It will always have a place in my garden.
I love its candy curls of ice, but, in the back of my mind are images of summer blooms and visiting pollinators.
I am posting this magical flower for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Stop by May Dreams Gardens to see what other gardeners are sharing for Bloom Day.
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 Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.