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Abronia latifolia Eschsch.

Yellow sand verbena, coastal sand verbena

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyNyctaginaceaePlants with unique fruits (“anthocarps”) and large pollen grains
GenusAbroniaSand-verbenas or wild lantanas
SpecieslatifoliaCoastal yellow sand verbena

About plant names...

Yellow sand verbena grows in loose beach sand, within a couple of hundred feet of the ocean, along the west coast of North America, between southern California and Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is native to this region.

Plants: Less than 6" (15 cm) in height, forming mats up to 6' (1.8 m) in size. There are several sand verbenas, but most are purple, and yellow sand verbena occupies only the narrow strip along the west coast ocean front.

Leaves: Thick and rounded, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) across.

Flowers: The neat round “flowers” are really bracts (modified leaves)—the plant does not have petals. The ball-shaped flowerheads are typical of verbenas. They are on stalks 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) high, and each flowerhead is 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 cm) in diameter. Each individual flower is ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm) in diameter, and has 5 “petals” which fuse to a long tube. They bloom from May to August.

Fruits: A small, winged fruit.

Edibility: Roots, which can be several feet long, were eaten by the Chinook Indians.

Abronia latifolia (yellow sand verbena, coastal sand verbena)

Fruit and flowerhead, from nps.gov.

Online References:



The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants



Abronia latifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 9 Aug 2023.

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Abronia latifolia (yellow sand verbena, coastal sand verbena)

9/2/2007 · Ore­gon
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)


About this map...