Species Name Abronia macrocarpa
Synonyms Abronia macrocarpa |
CPC Number 16061
Natures Serve Global Rank G2
Global Rank Review Date 1/4/2007
Federal Listing Status LE
Description The large-fruited sand verbena is a graceful perennial member of the four o'clock family and is native to sandy areas of East Texas. The stems are ascending to erect, to 50 cm tall. The sand verbena produces among the region's most attractive inflorescences. In spring, head-like clusters of 20-75 fuchsia to magenta flowers 18-30 mm long are borne above light green, hairy, sticky leaves. Intensely scented flowers open at dusk and attract moths throughout the evening hours until dawn. Plants are self-infertile with viable fruit occurring only as result of plant-to-plant crosses (Williamson and Bazeer 1997). The fruits 8-15 mm long, heart-shaped in side view and have 5 papery wings. Wind-blown fruits travel across the plant's habitat thus dispersing the fruit's seeds. After flowering the plant goes dormant for the summer, surviving as a taproot.
Abronia macrocarpa is adapted to the harsh and fragile sandy openings and dunes in savannah-like woodlands. These regions are characterized by deep, sandy infertile soils, disturbed areas with low and unreliable precipitation levels and extreme daily and yearly temperature fluctuations. First collected in 1968 but not formally described until 1972, the plant has been federally listed as endangered since 1988 (Reed 2001; Tiller 2001; Williamson 2001).