Abronia villosa S. Watson var aurita (Abrams) Jepson

Desert sand verbena
Nyctaginaceae (Four o'clock)


This variant of desert sand verbena is very similar to var. villosa and is in fact to the eye indistinguishable (see var. villosa). However, measurements of the flowers and a close inspection of the fruits can differentiate between the two. The perianth tube on this variant is a little longer and the limb a little wider, and whereas var. villosa has fruits that are deeply wrinkled, almost pitted, with wings barely extending above the fruit body, var. aurita has fruits that are nearly smooth with wings that are pronounced and extend well above the fruit body. This variant may be found in sandy locations at somewhat higher elevations (to about 5000') in the central and southern South Coast, and in the western Colorado Desert, particularly from the head of the Coachella Valley to interior Riverside, Orange and San Diego Counties. These pictures were taken in the Santa Rosa Mts. The bloom time is March to August.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Abronia 2) villosa 3) aurita.
Pronunciation: ab-ROE-nee-a vil-OH-sa aw-RIE-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.