Abronia arenaria Menzies ex Hook.
Tricratus arenarius (Menzies ex Hook.) Spreng.
Common Name: Sand Verbena
Flowering plant, completely covering a sand dune by the sea
Photograph by: FarOutFlora
Abronia latifolia is a succulent, prostrate, much-branched, perennial plant. Low-growing, it forms a dense mat of growth with its stems often buried in the sand[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It makes a good soil stabilizer for coastal sand dunes.
South-western N. America - California to Vancouver Island.
Coastal sand dunes and sea beaches[
]. Sandy soils, coastal scrub, lees of dunes adjacent to strand from sea level to 50 metres[
A plant of the warm temperate to subtropical zones where there are few frosts, it is not very hardy in cooler areas of the temperate zone.
Prefers a light well-drained sandy soil in full sun[
Seed is rarely ripened on plants growing in Britain[
Root - large and sweet[
]. An emergency food, used when all else fails[
]. Long and stout[
], it can be more than 60cm in length[
]. The root was usually harvested in the autumn[
The plant can form large, dense mats of growth in sandy soils by the coast. It is an ideal soil stabilizer, forming a carpet of growth over sand dunes[
Seed - sow autumn or early spring very shallowly in pots of sandy soil in a greenhouse[
]. Germination can be very slow unless you peel off the outer skin and pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water[
]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 2 months at 15°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Seedlings are prone to damp off and so should be kept well-ventilated[
]. Plant out in late spring, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings in spring, rooted in sand[