Oklahoma Weather Conditions Ripe For 'Frost Flower' Blooms - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Oklahoma Weather Conditions Ripe For Blooms Of 'Frost Flowers'

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Conditions have to be just right for the flowers to appear. Jesse Cooper photo. Conditions have to be just right for the flowers to appear. Jesse Cooper photo.
Frost flowers make a beautiful crop in Oklahoma. Jesse Cooper photo. Frost flowers make a beautiful crop in Oklahoma. Jesse Cooper photo.
NewsOn6.com user Jesse Cooper and his family came upon these frost flowers as they gathered firewood. NewsOn6.com user Jesse Cooper and his family came upon these frost flowers as they gathered firewood.

The unseasonably cold weather has created a rare and beautiful crop in Oklahoma.

They're called frost flowers.  

Frost flowers actually aren't flowers at all -- they're made of ice.  

A user named Jesse Cooper posted photos of the flowers on the NewsOn6.com share page. Cooper and his family found a whole field of frost flowers.

Conditions have to be just right for the flowers to appear.  The air temperature has to be below freezing, but the ground must still be soft enough for plants' root systems to be active and pulling moisture up into the stems.

"The right thing is happening at the right time," said Diana Lance, a master gardener with the Oklahoma State University Extension Office in Tulsa.

Lance said the moisture in the stem expands as it freezes, extruding out of long, thin cracks and forming a ribbon of ice.  The ribbons look a lot like petals of flowers, hence the name.  

In some plants, the ice grows out of pores, forming long strings of ice that resemble hair.  That form of ice is called "frost beard."

Frost flowers can be handled but they're very delicate.  They will melt or sublimate, which means convert directly to water vapor, when sunlight hits them.  That's why they're usually visible only in the early morning hours.



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