Verbesina virginica  - Banner
Image Information
Location: Searcy County, Arkansas
Month of Photograph: August-September and November and December
Distribution Map: Verbesina virginica  - Distribution Map Spacer
USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 16 January 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Spacer Guests can be assured that there is established evidence that this plant has been found in all of the green filled counties of Arkansas. However, the white filled counties should not be interpreted as counties in which this plant does not grow. They should instead be interpreted as counties which lack officially sanction evidence of the plants presence there.

Family: Asteraceae

Inflorescence

Verbesina virginica - Inflorescence "
Not all images on this page were photographed on the same day or at the same location. The precise location and date that specific photographs were taken can be obtained by email.
Verbesina virginica - Inflorescence Inflorescence

 

Verbesina virginica - Flower Ventral ViewFlower, ventral view
Verbesina virginica - Leaf AdaxialLeaf, adaxial
Verbesina virginica - Leaf BaseLeaf Base
Verbesina virginica - Winged Stem Winged Stem
Verbesina virginica - Whole Plant Whole Plant Zoom View
Verbesina virginica - Frost Extruded from the Stem Frost Extruded from the Stem

When the first freeze comes, moisture in the lower stem of this plant swells, which "ruptures the epidermis along with the cortex and other tissues" covering the stem and is extruded in thin delicate, plumes of ice. The result is an enchanting little piece of natural art of remarkable grace and charm. Verbesina virginica is not the only plant that can perform this neat little trick. Bob Charms writes that there are probably at least four other species that can do the same. He explains the whole process in great detail on the internet page "Crystallofolia ('Frost Flowers'), with Stems of Frostweed (Verbesina virginica) & Marsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata)" You should really check it out.

There is another internet site from Forrest M. Mims III with elapsed time photography of these "Frost Castles" unfolding.

Frost Extruded from the StemFrost Extruded from the Stem
Upper Plant
Verbesina virginica - Upper Plant

Inflorescence
Verbesina virginica - Inflorescence