Photo courtesy Ana Collier
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Common names: Frostweed, White Crownbeard, Iceplant, Iceweed, Virginia Crownbeard, Indian Tobacco, Richweed
Habit: Easy-to-grow dark green perennial and white, autumn flowers to the dappled shade found at the edges of woodlands, where it can form sizable colonies with its spreading rhizomes. Each stem has soft, fleshy green flanges running longitudinally down its length. When winter weather brings ice, the stems exude water that freezes into fascinating shapes, hence its common name Frostweed. This plant is best suited for naturalizing rather than formal landscapes.
Notes: The ice crystals formed on the stems of this and other plant species have been given many names - among them: ice ribbons, ice flowers, ice fringes, ice fingers, ice filaments, ice leaves, frost flowers, frost ribbons, frost freaks, frost beards, frost castles, rabbit ice and rabbit butter.