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   Pie  Sunday Apr 19 01:13 AM

April 19, 2009: Frost Flower

Is that some sort of pulled-sugar-taffy-like concoction?

No, it's a Frost Flower.

The beautiful photo above shows an intriguing and intricate frost flower.

Frost flowers aren't flowers at all, and well, they're not even frost. They occasionally form after the season's first heavy freeze kills a small plant. Even though the leafy matter is dead, the root system continues pumping water up through the stem -- by capillary action. When water reaches ruptures in the stem it leaks out and freezes instantly. As more and more water moves up through the stem, the ice is forced away from the plant and into an infinite number of odd shapes. Frost flowers are exceedingly fragile and the "petals" often break when touched and disappear the moment they're exposed to the first rays of the morning Sun.
This picture and its explanation are from the Earth Science Picture of the Day.

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Apr 19 01:44 AM

Would have made a good IOtD.

When I first saw that I was clicking through the "new posts" list, and didn't realise it is the IOtD.

hipshot  Sunday Apr 19 02:47 AM

That is SO cool!

Stormieweather  Sunday Apr 19 09:26 AM

That's amazing. I wonder what size it is? I see leaves, but can't tell what kind to determine an approximate size.

richlevy  Sunday Apr 19 09:45 AM

Absolutely beautiful.

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Apr 19 02:47 PM

Originally Posted by Stormieweather View Post
That's amazing. I wonder what size it is? I see leaves, but can't tell what kind to determine an approximate size.
It's about 12 times the diameter of the stem just above the "flower".

I think that stem would have to be 1/4" diameter minimum, and could be as much as 3/4" or more. But for shits & giggles calling it 1/2" would make the bloom about 6".

Of course if the ribbons of the bloom were unfurled, it would be feetses.

Tulip  Monday Apr 20 01:19 AM

That is one cool picture.

Sheldonrs  Tuesday Apr 21 10:30 AM


Gravdigr  Tuesday Apr 21 10:30 PM

Yeah, that's the trouble with triffids. (See what I did there?)

Kingswood  Wednesday Apr 22 08:20 AM

It's hard to see the structure in that photo. Is it in the form of ribbons or is it more like fine threads?

SPUCK  Thursday Apr 23 06:19 AM

There's a tingler in there too!!

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