Roger Sorensen from St. Cloud, Minnesota sends some frigid plants. Click photos to enlarge; Roger’s captions are indented.
Central MN has been under overcast still air for the past week, with morning fog that has left some remarkable accumulations of rime ice on plants. Rime ice occurs when supercooled water droplets freeze on contact. Supercooled water droplets are still in liquid state when temperatures are below the freezing point (32ºF / 0ºC).These are all from my back yard, where I maintain pollinator gardens of native perennials. In the winter they are also favored by Chickadees, Finches, and other birds who glean the seeds from the inflorescences.
Common ornamental yew, Taxus baccata:
Joe-pye weed, Eutrochium purpureum:
Blue wild indigo, Baptisia australis. This retains it leaves in winter and has dramatic blue-black seed pods.
Wild senna, Senna hebecarpa:
Purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea. The birds, especially Chickadees, really go for these seeds.
Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum. This is another bird favorite.
The empty seed pod of Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca:
The empty seed pod of Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata:
Big leaf aster, Eurybia macrophylla. This is one of the few shade tolerant asters and blooms into fall still providing pollen while other plants are long past flowering:
Blue vervain, Verbena hastata. The birds do not find these seeds palatable.
White bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa: