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Abronia villosa (Desert sand verbena)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Abronia villosa

Abronia villosa S. Watson

Desert Sand Verbena, Desert Sand-verbena, Desert Sandverbena

Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock Family)


USDA Symbol: abvi

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A soft-haired, sticky plant with bright pink, trumpet-shaped flowers in heads that bloom on stalks growing from leaf axils. Desert sand-verbena appears as a mat following winter rains, growing 20 in. across and 3-6 in high. Short, sticky hairs cover both the inch-long, oval, fleshy leaves and the many-branched stems. Erect, 1-3 in. stems bear conspicuous clusters of fragrant, lavender-pink flowers.

Following ample winter rains, Desert Sand Verbena may carpet miles of desert with pink.


From the Image Gallery

23 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Accessory
Size Notes: Up to about 6 inches tall by 20 inches across.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CA , NV , UT
Native Distribution: S.w. AZ, s.e. CA, s.w. UT & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Driest desert areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Can be used as an annual ground cover as it reseeds.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Plant seeds in late summer, fall or early spring. Germination may be enhanced by removing the seeds from the papery fruit.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
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 villosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Abronia villosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Abronia villosa


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

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