Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Touch of Frost

At last we've had a photogenic frost. These are the frost-dusted fruits of stinking iris aka roast-beef-plant aka Iris foetidissima. It's a British native wild flower but not, I think, native to North East England. It's an excellent plant for a wild flower garden, holding onto its strikingly coloured fruits all through the winter. My plants are growing on a dry, sunny bank in the garden, under a hedge. Its common names come from the fact that its crushed leaves smell of roast beef - to my nose they have the over-the-top beefy aroma of beef-flavoured crisps. There are some pictures of the flowers here.

Back in the autumn the Norway maple tree at the end of our garden produced a massive crop of winged seeds that are now scattered all over the garden. If they were left to germinate and grow it'd be a forest in no time. They look attractive when they're welded to the soil with frost, though. Frost breaks they're natural dormancy and they'll germinate in late March. It's amazing how far they can travel - on just a moderate breeze I've watched them 'helicopter' 50 metres down the garden then fly over the house on an updraft.

Some very fine ice crystals formed last night - these are on the surface of a sage leaf.


  1. I am really enjoying all the frost pictures that people are posting. I particularly like the ice on your Sage leaf. The Iris seeds are pretty spectacular.

  2. Plenty of ice crystals around the past couple of days.

  3. I too am enjoying the frost pictures people are posting.The crystals are beautiful.