06.05.2021 Frostless Frostweed

I have never seen the frost curls with this plant in the autumn as another species with the same name puts forth. I regularly find the flowers in Quabbin Park and these get mowed down with the grass once flowering season is over.  But, I am pretty sure the other ones give some frost curls from their cut stems so am not sure why these don’t unless the name comes from some other phenomenon.

At any rate, these are always a joy to find with their soft creamy hue and the nice arrangement of petals.

Canada Frostweed-Crocanthemum canadense.

I was a little disappointed as I often find Yellow Star-grass-Hypoxis hirsuta nearby but none this year. There is still time. And, yes, it is also misnamed.  While the leaves do look like grass, it is actually in the lily family.  At least it is yellow. If you are curious, here is a post from 2015.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, macro photography, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 06.05.2021 Frostless Frostweed

  1. According to http://w3.biosci.utexas.edu/prc/VEVI3/crystallofolia.html, your frostweed (formerly classified as Helianthemum canadense) does produce the same ice curls as the frostweed species in Texas. I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen ice emerging from the remains of one whose stalk has been cut off. Can you transplant a few frostweed plants to your yard to keep them from getting mowed, or at least gather seeds and plant them in your yard?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, I cannot dig up plants either in the wild, against my morals, and certainly not in Quabbin Park. I will sleep okay at night if I harvest seeds so will look for the ripe pods when they mature…in about four weeks I read. I saw on a website, Dave’s Garden, that these do form frost.


  2. shoreacres says:

    I’ve found Hypoxis hirsuta in a couple of places this year, so I wondered if this frostweed might be found here, too. Unfortunately, not. You’re right about its attractiveness; that’s a lovely shade of yellow, and the whorl of petals is especially nice. I did wonder if the taxonomists have been busy again. I found it listed in the rock rose family (Cistaceae) rather than with the lilies, even when I searched using the synonym. I can’t keep up with it all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ms. Liz says:

    These flowers are very pretty and it’s great to see them Steve. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The yellow almost jumps off the screen. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    I’m intrigued by the idea of frost curls – something I’ve never seen here. The flowers themselves are very pretty indeed, with or without any frost! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bluebrightly says:

    Beautiful – I’ve never heard of this flower before. I love the way the stamens are pressed up against the petals – strange, right? Nad the pinwheel overlapping of the petals themselves – this is a gem. Thanks for posting it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynn. There are two species of flowers that produce the frost that gives them their name. Steve S. has posted a couple of those in his area. I have yet to see it here but will try to harvest some seeds and plant them in the yard so I can keep my eye on them. The stamens hugging the petals that way is unusual and unique to these I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        I’ve seen those frost curls on a trail but it was a while ago and I don’t know if they were associated with a particular plant. I’ve seen some of Steve’s photos of frost curls too – it’s a really exciting phenomenon to see. Obviously, if the plants’ name says “frostweed” then that must be an important feature. I have to learn more…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        OK, I looked it up and refreshed my memory (I’m sure Steve explained it)…the stem holds water, splits, and the water freezes as it seeps out, forming curls. I’m really wondering now about the curls I saw….so I found them in LR (thank god for keywords!) but it’s impossible to know what plant they’re on in the photo, which is dark. Back to searching, and it’s called hair ice more commonly, at least here (I think). But I think this is a little different.
        “Hair ice is formed at a particular temperature between latitudes of 45 and 55 degrees, during a particular time of day and on a particular type of wood, which must be free of bark. It also requires the presence of a particular fungus…”
        “A study published in the journal Biogeosciences, in 2015, found that the fungus Exidiopsis effusa was found in all samples of hair ice in the study samples. Without E. effusa, ice will still form; however, it would be in a more stable shape, like a crust or blob, not the fragile shape of hair ice. The presence of the molecules lignin and tannin within the wood also play a role in the shape of hair ice.”
        My own photo does look like the ice is on the branch or twig of a tree. I hope you can find this plant again on just the right day in winter….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the link. I’ve not seen hair ice either. So much to learn and experience in this world. There are videos of people finding ice curls from frostweed.

        Liked by 1 person

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