Nyctaginaceae2018-05-08T19:47:58+00:00

Nyctaginaceae: Four O’Clock Family

Yellow Sand Verbena – Abronia latifolia

Blooms:

May–Oct

Plant Height:

Stems < 2 m

Flower Size:

Medium cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Sand dunes

Notes:

Very common and unmistakable with its spherical inflorescences with multiple, honey-scented, lemon-yellow flowers. Stems are prostrate, growing both under and above the sand.  Leaves are ovate to kidney-shaped and fleshy.

Pink Sand Verbena – Abronia umbellata var. umbellata

Blooms:

All year

Plant Height:

3–10 dm

Flower Size:

Medium cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Sand dunes

Notes:

Like Yellow Sand Verbena, this is very common and unmistakable with its spherical inflorescences with multiple, white-centered pink flowers. Leaves are ovate to diamond-shaped, erect and fleshy and borne on rows of prostrate red stems.

California Four O’Clock – Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia

Blooms:

Dec–June

Plant Height:

< 80 cm

Flower Size:

Small–medium

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry washes & slopes

Notes:

This is a trailing to ascending plant with bright pink to purple-red flowers which open in the evening and close during the following morning.  The flowers are 5–14 mm across, broadly funnel-shaped with 5 somewhat cleft lobes and prominently exserted, curved stamens. The leaves are fleshy, widely spreading and more or less ovate in shape. Commonly found in more southerly counties in California, this is found in Monterey only in the southern parts of Big Sur and the extreme east of the County south of the Pinnacles.