Herb: Sand Verbena

Latin name: Abronia latifolia

Synonyms: Abronia arenaria

Family: Nyctaginaceae (Four-o'clock Family)

Edible parts of Sand Verbena:

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.

Description of the plant:


10 cm
(4 inches)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Coastal sand dunes and sea beaches

Propagation of Sand Verbena:

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 15C. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Coastal sand dunes and sea beaches

Medicinal use of Sand Verbena:

None known

Known hazards of Abronia latifolia:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.