The Magic of Frost Flowers

photo by Nick Page

This strange ice formation - found in woods in  goes by several names - frost flowers,  ice flowers, ice ribbon, rabbit ice, rabbit frost, ice wool and more. 


Photo: MarkInspex/Flickr

Rabbit ice forms when the air hits freezing temperatures and sap in the stems of plants expands as it freezes, causing cracks to form along a stem. Water is then drawn out through the cracks, freezing as it hits the air, and forms layer after thin layer as more water is drawn out, eventually creating petals or ribbons of ice.


Image Credit Flickr User Cotonis
 
It looks like a puff-ball of cotton candy made up of clusters of thin, curved ice filaments. 



Image Credit Flickr User markinspecx

Your best chances of spotting rabbit frost is in the early mornings in wooded, shaded areas when weather conditions are just right. 
 
Image Credit Flickr User slowmoz



I have never seen it in person - good luck!

















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