Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Frostweed, Frost Flower, Indian Tobacco, Tickweed
Verbesina virginica

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Verbesina (ver-bes-SIGH-nuh) (Info)
Species: virginica (vir-JIN-ih-kuh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 22 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive southeastgarden On Mar 23, 2015, southeastgarden from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant ranges naturally into zone 10 in south Florida.

Positive goofballTex On May 30, 2014, goofballTex from Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Frostweed is a wonderful native plant. However, like most members of the aster family, its seeds get absolutely EVERYWHERE, so unless you have a lot of land to work with, clip the flower heads after they're done blooming to save yourself the trouble of pulling up seedlings where they're not wanted all next year. The good thing is that they're easy to pull.

Other than that, it's great! It's a hardy, low maintenance perennial that attracts a metric ton of butterflies in the fall; it's easy to manage; and you can cut it back all you want. In the winter, when it freezes, it "grows" intricate little ice sculptures from its base.

Positive KanapahaLEW On Nov 24, 2008, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant grows in abundance along the entrance road to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville FL and puts on quite a floral show in the fall.

Positive Sheila_FW On Jul 3, 2008, Sheila_FW from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Frostweed is a very hardy grower and reseeds generously. So if you don't have the space clip the blooms before they drop seeds. I agressively prune mine so they are not so tall in my beds. I have enjoyed having Frostweed in the shade and sun, and also enjoyed watching a large variety of butterflies that nectar on it. The native plant is also a larval host plant for butterflies. Three that are in Texas are the Bordered Patch, Silvery Checkerspot, and the Summer Azure.

Neutral MotherNature4 On Feb 27, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant grows almost all over the state of Florida. It loves sunny, wet ditches and open hammocks. It is most attractive in late fall when the white flowers are covering the plants. Considered a large weed, people don't usually grow it in their yards.

Two other species of Verbesina are endemic to Florida.

Positive frostweed On Feb 26, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Frostweed is a wonderful plant that will tolerate both full sun and full shade. The leaves are lovely all season and the white blossoms are delicate and beautiful. In cold winters the stem will burst after a hard frost and a frothy ice will form on the stem, thereby the name Frostweed.
The plant is also known as Indian tobaco. It is said to have been used by Indians, Mexicans and settlers as a tobacco substitute.
Verbesina virginica is native to Texas and other States.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Barling, Arkansas
Bartow, Florida
Ellenton, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jupiter, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Derby, Kansas
Coushatta, Louisiana
Marietta, Mississippi
Okatie, South Carolina
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Boerne, Texas
Burleson, Texas
Cedar Creek, Texas
College Station, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Dripping Springs, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Frisco, Texas
Houston, Texas
Kendalia, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Plano, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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