Rare frost flowers bloom in Deep South’s deep freeze

November 13th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

With temperatures in the Deep South dipping as low as the 20s in Florida this morning, the early deep freeze provided the best opportunity in several years for frostweed (Verbesina virginica) to bloom. Here in north Alabama the 17 deg. F temperatures so early in the season provided the necessary chill to cause water from the still-warm soil to wick up through the stems and then freeze into cotton candy-shapes. Most people who live here are not even aware of these cold weather creations because they form so rarely.

Here are several photos I took after dawn this morning as these frosty blooms continued to grow.

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