Verbesina Species, Frostweed, Iceplant, Virginia Crownbeard, White Crownbeard

Verbesina virginica

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



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Pomona, New York

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

Temple, Texas

Chantilly, Virginia

Fairfax, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 12, 2020, Bandita74 from Mount Ivy, NY wrote:

I grew this from gifted seed from a friend not really knowing what it was. Last year it topped over 8 feet tall in my zone 6b garden! Every sort of pollinator imaginable was loving this plant, especially migrating monarchs. I trimmed it back early this season in hopes it will bloom a bit lower this year because it was shading out my Joe Pye and my goldenrod. Its a late season bloomer so provides interest when other flowers are dying out in the garden and bloomed for me until frost. Ive heard it can get pretty aggressive but so far the clump I have has not really expanded much so Im giving it a positive review for the pollinator action.


On Oct 3, 2018, originaljazzgirl from Fairfax,
United States wrote:

The flowers are great for my monarchs, and the thing is so strong-stemmed that it doesn't need staking. Mine get to 10' tall. The first year they self-sowed so much that now in the fall I make sure to chop the flowerheads. But I leave the lower stems of course, because the best part about this plant are the beautiful ice sculptures. Plant is really easy to grow either from seeds or transplants. This past summer I transplanted some in 90 degree heat (no idea why I did that) and they actually made it, they are blooming now.


On Mar 1, 2018, FlaFlower from Titusville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

The zoning on this completely off! It will grow well into zone 11. It's a great native the butterfly & bee love it plus it requires no attention other than the occasional trim


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

This plant ranges naturally into zone 10 in south Florida.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.