The coloring of this plant, one of the prettiest of its kind, is striking and unusual, and makes it very conspicuous, growing in the sand near the sea or in the desert. The thickish leaves are light bluish-green and the thick stem, which straggles rather awkwardly over the ground, is a peculiar shade of pink and sticky and hairy, as are also the involucres. The small delicate flowers are an odd tint of pinkish-lilac, light but vivid, in striking contrast to the coloring of stems and foliage, and form very pretty clusters, with an involucre of five to fifteen papery bracts. They are very fragrant and look much like garden Verbenas, so the name is not so unhappy as some. A. umbellata has slender stems and almost smooth leaves, sometimes with wavy margins, about an inch long, narrowed at base to a slender leaf-stalk, and deep-pink flowers. It is common all along the California coast and blooms in the summer and autumn. A. maritima is found from Santa Barbara to San Diego and is a very stout, coarse, sticky plant, with small, deep-magenta flowers.
Sand Verbena. Abroma Villosa.