frost flower
Frost Flowers by Tanya Impeartrice, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Nature is filled with wonderful creations, and frost flowers are one of them. But, as you might have guessed, these aren’t flowers as you know them…

How are they formed?

Frost flowers form when water is pushed out of plants through tiny holes or ruptures. As soon as the water is out of the plant, it freezes. This creates beautiful curly shapes, resembling flowers.

The conditions for this to happen must be just right. The temperature must be below freezing point, but the ground should not be frozen. This way, the plant can still suck up water. When this water travels up the plant, it starts expanding because of the cold. Because of the rising pressure inside the plant, micro-ruptures appear through which the water is pushed out.

Frost flower
Frost Flowers by Tanya Impeartrice, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

As the plant keeps on sucking water out of the ground, the cycle is maintained and the curls, resembling flower petals, keep on growing larger.

When do frost flowers occur?

The best time to witness these beauties is around autumn and early winter. They mostly form at night, and they start melting as soon as the sun’s rays touches them.

Frost flowers are a rare sight. Should you ever be so lucky to see one, try not not pick it up. Chances are it will shatter, since they are extremely delicate. Try taking a picture instead.

Frost flower
Frost Flower E-4 by Justin Leigh Shaw, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0