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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Saturday - April 04, 2009

From: Claremont, CA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: When and where does sand verbena, Abronia ameliae, bloom in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I am a botany student in California. I need to collect a branch or two of Abronia ameliae, a Sand Verbena that grows only in Texas. I must collect this plant when it is both in flower and fruit (flower and fruit characters are needed for correct identification). Can you tell me when I should travel to Texas to find this plant in bloom and fruiting in wild? Would you be able to tell me where I should go looking for it? Also, can you tell me which airport is closest to the areas where Abronia ameliae grows? Many thanks.

ANSWER:

The USDA Plants Database shows Abronia ameliae (Amelia's sand verbena) growing in South Texas in Hidalgo, Starr, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg and Live Oak counties.  Our Native Plant Database indicates that it blooms March through June, Loughmiller's Texas Wildflowers: a Field Guide (revised edition) gives April through August as the bloom period and Ajilvsgi's Wildflowers of Texas says it is February through May.  Your best bet is to contact the South Texas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (based in Corpus Christi) to see if there is someone there who would be willing to keep a lookout for the plants in bloom. Additionally, you might make contact with someone in the biology department in one or more of the several universities in the area—for example, Department of Biology at the  University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, the  Department of Life Sciences at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi or in Biological Sciences at the  University of Texas Brownsville—to see if anyone in those institutions would help watch for plants in bloom.

You have several choices for airports in the area: the Corpus Christi International Airport, the Valley International Airport in Harlingen, the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport in Brownsville and the McAllen International Airport in McAllen.


Abronia ameliae

Abronia ameliae

 

 

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Bibliography

Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide: Revised Edition (2006) C. Loughmiller, L. Loughmiller, D. Waitt

Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

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