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Abronia elliptica (Fragrant white sand verbena)
Anderson, Beth

Abronia elliptica

Abronia elliptica A. Nelson

Fragrant White Sand Verbena, Snowball Sand Verbena

Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock Family)

Synonym(s): Abronia fragrans var. elliptica, Abronia pumila, Abronia ramosa, Abronia salsa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Many fragrant, white to pinkish, trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in heads at ends of long stalks in upper leaf axils.

Throughout most of its range this is the only Sand Verbena with white flowers. A fragrans, also called Snowball or Sweet Sand Verbena, has sweet-smelling flowers, but lacks pads atop the wings of the fruit and is often taller, with stems up to 3' (90 cm). It grows in eastern Montana and western North and South Dakota, south to eastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western and central Texas. White Sand Verbena (A. mellifera), from eastern Washington and Oregon to southern Idaho, has nearly scentless flowers.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Accessory
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AZ , CO , NM , NV , UT , WY
Native Distribution: Central Nevada to northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, western Colorado, and northern Wyoming.
Native Habitat: Sandy, arid grassland and among pinyon and juniper.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Abronia elliptica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Abronia elliptica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Abronia elliptica


Record Modified: 2023-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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