Discover Nature: Watch For Frost Flowers During Early Autumn


Manage episode 228781015 series 1256501
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Take an early morning hike in the late autumn air this week and Discover Nature in Missouri’s most fleeting flower - that isn’t really a flower at all. Frost flowers are delicate white blossoms that occur during the first hard frosts each fall when moisture squeezes through cracks in the stem and freezes into frosty Wribbons, rosebuds or other artistic looking shapes. Autumn rain and early frosts favor their formation, because they form when the water that is sucked out of the soil by a plant’s root section meets above ground temperatures that are below freezing. If you’ve ever seen water pipes burst in the winter, the concept is basically the same – cold air freezes the moisture inside the plant and bursts it open. Air bubbles in the ice give the flower its white appearance. Though most people think a plant must be completely dead to form a frost flower, the underground portion of the plant must still be alive in order for the stem to develop a frost flower, according to the Missouri

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