Frost Flower on a Mulberry Tree

Frost flowers are typically a phenomenon of delicate ice crystals that occur on certain plants when moisture inside the plant expands because of freezing temperatures, which in turn causes the plant stem to crack. Because of the capillary action of the plant, moisture continues to seep out and freeze, forming the intricate patterns that make up the these lovely "flowers." The exquisite white frost flowers that occur on plants near the ground may be formed in delicate strands or shaped like ribbons. Frost flowers actually have nothing to do with frost, but are made entirely of ice.

It appears that this mulberry tree has formed a lovely yellow frost flower, likely because of coloring from the sap inside the branch. This tree is located in the back yard at my son's house in Nashville, and I noticed this lovely ice formation early one morning from the kitchen window. At first glance it looked like a small furry animal resting atop the tree branch.

To find frost flowers be sure to look for them in the early morning hours, but if you find one don't pick it up. These intricate flowers are so fragile they will shatter on touch, so just take some pictures.

My lovely frost flower was so delicate the afternoon warmth melted it away. By mid-afternoon this photo shows all that was left of mother nature's work.


  1. Just wondering do they come in different colors? Amazing...

    1. Tammy, I believe the frost flowers are usually just white. I think it was only yellow because it formed on this tree. It was very delicate and pretty!

  2. That's fascinating! I never knew about them and I am a nature lover. Thank you for the nature lesson and the pictures to go with it. Beautiful!