is very similar to abronia fragrans
; the two species differ in subtle aspects of the shape of the seeds and hairiness of the leaves and stems. The location can be one distinguishing factor, however, as the plants overlap for a relatively small area, in west Colorado, central Wyoming and a narrow belt in the Four Corners region; west of here, only abronia elliptica is found.
Stems may point vertically upwards or lean over, and usually have a covering of short glandular hairs. Leaves are quite thick, and sometimes have slightly wavy margins; they are also lightly hairy, this most evident on the undersurfaces. The inflorescence is a spherical cluster of between 25 and 75 flowers, subtended by five or more ovate or obovate bracts, which at flowering time are thin and papery. Flowers consist of a narrow, pinkish tube up to 0.8 inches long, topped by five small white lobes.