Geopic of the week: frost flowers

frost flower (1)

This week’s geopic is a bit of a stretch, but since ice is technically a mineral, a frost flower is a crystal form of the mineral ice.  Plus they are just cool.

Frost flowers form when the air is below freezing but the ground isn’t frozen.  In Arkansas, these conditions typically occur early in the morning in Fall or Spring.  They begin due to freezing of moisture in the stem of a plant which expands and makes small cracks in the stem.  Water in the plant freezes as it is extruded from the cracks, and more moisture is continually wicked up from the soil.  The resultant ice forms delicate ribbons that curl around the stem resembling flower petals.

Because they are so fragile and rarely last more than a few hours, most frost flowers are never seen.  If you happen to be out on a crisp morning, come across one, and you have a camera handy, be sure to take some pictures.

For more views of frost flowers click here

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