Aug. 13, 2018

white crownbeard, Verbesina virginica

White crownbeard was a big surprise for this northerner. Up here Verbesinas, like so many flowers in the aster family, are yellow. And frostweed is an entirely different look. I went off on a seriously wild goose chase trying to figure out what this was, and didn't get it right until long after. Then I found out that it was a frostweed. Frostweed is more a phenomenon than a name. In the winter, after the plants have dried and died back, a hard freeze produces spikes or sheets or globs of ice that emerge from the stems. The effect can be very picturesque. You might think a hardy Michigander like me would get out there in the cold and see this. Hasn't happened yet, so we have no pictures. Here are the flowers. This frostweed grows in AL, AR, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MO, MS, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV. Polk Co FL, 10/21/15.