These half-hardy, trailing annual or perennial plants produce verbena-like flowers during the summer. They grow wild in western North America. Abronias are mainly used for the fronts of flowerbeds, borders and for the rock garden. Even though they are perennials, they are usually raised every year from seeds. A. latifolia (A. arenaria) has kidney-shaped leaves and fragrant, lemon yellow flowers. A. maritima has dark red flowers and A. umbellata (Sand Verbena) has pink flowers and is the most commonly grown Abronia.
They should be planted in the spring in a sunny spot in well-drained, sandy loam.
In mild regions, the seeds may be sown in September outside. Where winters are severe, they are sown indoors in late winter. They should be soaked in water for 24 hours or else they will germinate slowly. The seedlings should be transplanted into flats filled with loam, leaf mold and sand and in May are planted where they are to flower in the summer. Another method is to sow them right outside in early spring. The perennial kinds can be propagated by cuttings that are made from fresh shoots off of old plants, which have been kept in a frost-free greenhouse during the winter. Insert these, in March or April, into beds of sand or sandy soil in a frame that is kept closed for a few weeks.