Helianthemum carolinianum, Syn: Crocanthemum carolinianum
Cistaceae (Rock-Rose) Family
Frostweed is also known as Rock Rose, Carolina Sunrose and Carolina Frostweed.
Plant is an upright perennial; downy (hoary), up to 10 inches tall. Preferred habitat is sandy or rocky open woods, old fields, meadows, roadsides, and flood plains. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
Leaves are alternate on the stem, about one inch long, narrow, dull green with white hairs beneath; forms a rosette of leaves at base of plant; usually widest at the center.
Flowers are solitary at the end of the stem; about two inches across; five yellow petals and 25-30 stamens. Flower remains open for a single day and usually in bright sunshine. Flowers occur in the spring and early summer.
This perennial of dry, open sites prefers bright, direct sun; which explains the generic name. The name is derived from the Greek helios (the sun) and anthemos (flower). The common name relates to the ice-like crystals which form from white sap that exudes from cracks near the base of the stem in the late fall.