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Frostweed Forms Ice Sculptures Frostweed Forms Ice Sculptures

In addition to being an exceptional source of nectar for butterflies and pollinators during its blooming period, frostweed, Verbesina virginica, has a unique hidden 'talent.' Under the right circumstances during the first frost of the year, its sap freezes into unique ice sculptures as the sap expands and oozes out of the broken stems.

In the photo gallery, you will find photos from this morning's occurrence at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas. Sometimes they form what looks like flowers. On this occasion, the stems split in such a way that this didn't happen but the formations are nonetheless lovely. Also included is one photo taken previously on a warmer day. This will allow you see what it looks like in bloom.

Frostweed plants can grow from three to six feet in height. If you're interested in gardening for Monarch butterflies, this is a great plant to choose as a nectar source for them in the fall. You can learn more about this plant here.

The dormant appearance of much of the native plant life during the winter in north Texas may seem like a barrier to enjoying nature, but there are often surprises waiting for you if you take the time to carefully observe nature. To see a list of birds that may be observed at the Heard this time of year, visit www.heardmuseum.org/birding. To see other wildlife species that have been recently observed by guests, visit www.heardmuseum.org/wildlife. You can also learn more about what is going on out in our nature preserve during the winter here: www.heardmuseum.org/winternature.  

About Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

The Heard is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard. Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard's mission of bringing nature and people together is carried out through education, particularly of young people, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation.  For more information, visit www.heardmuseum.org.

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