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Helianthemum canadense (Longbranch frostweed)
Bruso, George H.

Helianthemum canadense

Helianthemum canadense (L.) Michx.

Longbranch Frostweed, Frostweed, Rock Frost, Frostplant, Frostwort

Cistaceae (Rock-Rose Family)

Synonym(s): Crocanthemum canadense, Helianthemum canadense var. sabulonum

USDA Symbol: HECA3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

1 (rarely 2) showy, yellow-petaled flower atop main stem; later in season clusters of inconspicuous, bud-like flowers without petals in leaf axils.

This perennial of dry open sites flowers only in the sunlight, a fact that explains the genus name, which is derived from the Greek helios ("the sun") and anthemon ("flower"). The common name refers to the ice crystals that form from sap exuding from cracks near the base of the stem in late fall. The flower lasts only one day and produces many seeds.


From the Image Gallery

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NS , ON
Native Distribution: Ontario east to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia, west to Alabama, Kentucky, and Missouri, and north to Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Dry, sandy, or rocky, open woods and woodland openings.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Helianthemum canadense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Helianthemum canadense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Helianthemum canadense


Record Modified: 2023-03-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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