En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - January 29, 2005

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on Virginia crownbeard
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently moved to the Hill Country and notice some "weeds" that seemed to into explode into ice formations when the temperature first fell below freezing. Can you tell me the name of this plant and a little bit about it?

ANSWER:

The common name is frost weed, ice weed, or Virginia crownbeard (Verbesina virginica). It is a member of the Family Asteraceae, the aster family. When the temperature goes below freezing its sap freezes and bursts through the stem to form beautiful ice sculptures. The first freeze of the winter gives the most spectacular sculptures. In the spring it has white blossoms. You can read about it in the Native Plants Database. Be sure to click on "Search Images" from the menu at the top on the frost weed page so that you can see pictures of the plant in the spring.

 

From the Image Gallery


Frostweed
Verbesina virginica

More Wildflowers Questions

Viability of bluebonnets in Portland, Oregon
April 07, 2008 - My best friend lives in Portland, Oregon, and misses Texas wildflowers terribly. I would really love to send her some bluebonnet seeds (or even other native wildflowers) but I'm wondering if there a...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers tolerant of lower water and lots of sun
April 17, 2007 - I live in Austin Texas and have a small bed in the front of the house which faces the east with no shade. I am not much of a yard person so would like to plant some Native plants that don't need a lo...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a steep slope in KY
March 31, 2011 - We are building a new home and have a very steep hill behind the home. Our highlift operator just cleared it off - I would say about 15 to 20 feet in height and at least 150 feet in length. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Care of native black-eyed susans after blooming
September 30, 2004 - What is the best way to take care of black-eyed susans once they have lost their blooms? Am I supposed to cut them down to the base, or just let them die out naturally. Also, they all have a white re...
view the full question and answer

Where can white prickly poppy be viewed en mass from Baton Rouge LA?
January 16, 2013 - Does the center feature the native White Prickly Poppy? When is prime blooming season? Can you give me some specific locations in the area where the plant can be seen en mass and photographed? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center