Yellow Sand Verbena – Abronia latifolia

At the hottest time of the year, this plant presented itself! I discovered just off the boardwalk in the sand dunes at the 6th Street entrance to the beach.

yellow-sand-verbena
Chipper yellow flowers emerge above sticky, sandy stalks

Its a trailing species, meaning it creeps along the ground, mixing and mingling with grasses and other plants I’ve not identified.

yellow-sand-verbena
It spreads 2-5 feet here, and grows only a few inches high

Aside from its soft-but-striking yellow clusters of flowers, which are in botany terminology called umbel, it has some pretty cool foliage. Thick, sticky stalks put off spade-shaped leaves aka orbicular grow in an opposite pattern. Multiple leaves can emerge from one stipual.

yellow-sand-verbena
Sticky stalks collect sand and debris.

The plant is so sticky that it collects sand.

By the time I Met the Yellow Sand Verbena, it had already developed seed pods. They are some seriously heavy-duty pods. Even after drying for a few weeks, I can’t open them up and they will not flatten in the plant press.

yellow-sand-verbena
Even after pressing, the seed pods are relatively undamaged

 

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