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Abronia fragrans (Fragrant sand-verbena)
Anderson, Wynn

Abronia fragrans

Abronia fragrans Nutt. ex Hook.

Fragrant Sand-verbena, Snowball Sand Verbena, Sweet Sand-verbena, Prairie Snowball, Sand Verbena, Heart's Delight

Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock Family)

Synonym(s): Abronia fragrans var. glaucescens

USDA Symbol: ABFR2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Hearts-delight or Sand Verbena can be an upright or widely sprawling perennial, ranging in height or width from 8-40 in. Its long, funnel-shaped flowers are usually white, but are sometimes tinged with green, lavender, or pink. Numerous blossoms are held in ball-shaped clusters at the ends of the sticky-hairy, branched stems. The flowers open in late afternoon and close in the morning.


From the Image Gallery

12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Accessory
Size Notes: Stems procumbent to semi-erect, up to about 40 inches long.
Flower: Flowers in 2 inch heads.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AZ , CO , KS , MT , ND , NE , NM , OK , SD , TX , UT , WY
Native Distribution: N. AZ to w. TX & OK, n. through Rockies and western Plains
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas, Woodlands' edge, Opening, Sandy plains

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Loose, deep, sandy soils.


Use Ornamental: Aromatic, Rock gardens, Rocky hillside, Color, Blooms ornamental
Use Wildlife: Sand verbena attracts butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Easily raised from fall-sown seed in mild-winter areas.
Seed Treatment: Germination may be enhanced by removing the seeds from the papery fruit just before planting.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX


Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

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


Record Modified: 2023-04-18
Research By: DEW

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