The large-fruited sand-verbena (Abronia macrocarpa) is an endemic plant found in Leon, Robertson, and Freestone counties, in the post oak savanna region of eastern Texas. The nine documented wild populations are known only from private lands and occur no more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) apart. Soils are acidic, relatively infertile where acidic, relatively sandy soils of the Arenosa, Silstead-Padina, Pickton, and Wolfpen series are derived from the Eocene geological formations known as the Carrizo Sand, Sparta Sand, and Queen City Sand (U.S.D.A. 1989; Stoeser, et al. 2005). As a moth-pollinated species, the large-fruited sand-verbena flowers open at night. Stressors include competition from introduced invasive grasses and the conversion of open grassland to dense woodland; habitat conversion and clearing for petroleum exploration and residential development; off-road vehicle use; and, potential grazing and herbivory. Conservation efforts to aid in the species recovery include the collection and banking of seeds; public outreach and education; and, research focusing on the species’ biology and habitat needs.
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