Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Abronia villosa, Desert Sand Verbena

Abronia villosa, Desert Sand VerbenaAbronia villosa, Desert Sand VerbenaAbronia villosa, Desert Sand VerbenaAbronia villosa, Desert Sand VerbenaAbronia villosa, Desert Sand Verbena

Scientific Name: Abronia villosa
Common Name: Desert Sand Verbena
Also Called: Chaparral Sand-verbena, Desert Sandverbena, Desert Sand-verbena, Pink Sandverbena; (Spanish: Alfombrilla)
Family: Nyctaginaceae, Four O’clock Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: 3 to 6 inches tall more or less, 12 to 24 inches wide.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; prostrate creeping mats with ascending branches, soft glandular hairs, sticky.
Leaves: Green, dull green; fleshy, round, triangular-ovate or elliptic, margins entire, both sides of leaves with sticky glandular hairs.
Flower Color: Pink, purplish-pink, lavender, bright magenta; sweet fragrance, flowers showy, trumpet-shaped in clusters of 15 or more on ends of long stems, flowers from leaf axils.
Flowering Season: February to May, February to July in Texas.
Elevation: Up to 1,500 feet, higher elevations in California, up to 4,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Lower dry desert areas, creosote bush communities, well drained sandy soils, flood plains, coastal-sage scrub in California.

Recorded Range: Native to AZ, CA, NV, UT, Baja California and northern Mexico. A coastal species in southern California. In southwestern and western parts of Arizona.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Abronia villosa.

North America species range map for Abronia villosa:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

Click image for full size map
Click image for full size map

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: 23 species in Abronia, all in western United States and British Columbia. 5 species in Arizona and Texas, 12 species in California and 7 species in New Mexico.

The Plant List includes 86 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Abronia. Of these 30 are accepted species names.

2 varieties in Abronia villosa:
Abronia villosa var. aurita, Desert Sand Verbena, (AZ, CA);
Abronia villosa var. villosa, Desert Sand Verbena, (AZ, CA, NV, UT).

Comments: Desert Sand Verbena needs ample winter rains to produce large areas of carpet like blooms. Desert Sand Verbena is a Mojave Desert species and well adapted in the western portions of the Sonoran Desert.

Desert Sand Verbena is used as a diuretic (Paiute) and as a dressing for burns (Shoshoni). See full species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 5/12/2012 rev. 07/22/2015, updated 12/02/2015, added map 02/17/2020
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 12/02/2015).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 12/02/2015]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 12/02/2015 ),5195,5206
John Seiler, and John Peterson Virginia Tech; Dept of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation;; on-line accessed 02/14/2020
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information
Wikipedia contributors, 'Abronia villosa', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 August 2015, 21:09 UTC, [accessed 2 December 2015