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Red Sand Verbena
Abronia maritima

About Red Sand Verbena (Abronia maritima) Red Sand Verbena (Abronia maritima) is a species of sand verbena known by the common name red sand verbena. This is a beach-adapted perennial. Plant native to the coastlines of southern California, including the Channel Islands, and northern Baja California. It grows along stable sand dunes near, but not in the ocean surf. This salt-tolerant plant requires saline water which it receives mostly in the form of sea spray, and cannot tolerate fresh water or prolonged dry conditions. Its succulent tissues are adapted to isolate and store salt. This sand verbena forms a green mat along the ground, its stems sometimes buried under loose sand. It flowers year-round in bright red to pink or purplish clusters of flowers. The mats are thick and provide shelter for a variety of small beach-dwelling animals. This is a rare plant. Its habitat is located in heavily-traveled beach areas, where it is disturbed by human activity.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial Herb

Max. Height
4.8 in (12.2 cm)

Max. Width
1.6 - 6.4 ft (0.5 - 2.0 m)



Leaf blades are fleshy, 5-7 cm long, and broadly elliptic to oblong. The leaves store salt.

Flower Color
Pink, Purple, Red

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Sand dunes along the coast.


Elevation ?
-154' - 1687'

Annual Precip. ?
7.9" - 49.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 0.97"

Coldest Month ?
41.4° F - 57.5° F

Hottest Month ?
58.4° F - 78.0° F

Humidity ?
0.42 vpd - 23.71 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers beach sand

Soil Texture
Loamy Sand, Sand

Soil PH
5 - 7

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Saline Soil


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 30° F

Sunset Zones ?
17*, 24*

Wildlife Attracted

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. (Emery and Frey 1971). Collect seeds from seed heads after they have dried on the plant. Sow directly in the sand after in Fall or after last frost.

Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Red Sand-verbena, Sticky Sand-verbena

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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