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Common (vernacular) names applied to California vascular plants

compiled by Elizabeth Painter

up to date as of May 1, 2016

Common names (also referred to as vernacular names) are applied differently at different times and places by different users. This list is compiled from many sources and is intended to be as comprehensive as possible. It is not intended to indicate which common name is correct or preferred. Please send comments about this page to Elizabeth Painter (

TaxonAbutilon theophrasti
Family common name(s)mallow; mallows; cotton
Genus common name(s)abutilon; flowering-maple; flowering maple; parlour-maple; parlour maple
Species common name(s)velvet-leaf abutilon; velvet leaf abutilon; velvetleaf abutilon; velvet-leaf mallow; velvet leaf mallow; velvetleaf mallow; velvet-leaf Indian-mallow; velvet-leaf Indian mallow; velvet leaf Indian mallow; velvetleaf Indian-mallow; velvetleaf Indian mallow; velvetleaf Indianmallow; China-jute; China jute; Manchurian jute; Chingma jute; Kingma jute; abutilon-hemp; abutilon hemp; Chinese hemp; Chingma abutilon; Chingma lantern; swamp Chinese lantern; butter-print velvet-leaf; butterprint velvetleaf; butter-print; butter print; butterprint; pie-print; pie print; pieprint; Theophrastus abutilon
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxawild okra, Indian-mallow, Indian mallow, Indianmallow are applied to multiple Malvaceae taxa; velvet-leaf, velvet leaf, velvetleaf, velvet-weed, velvet weed, velvetweed, cottonweed, cotton-weed, cotton weed, buttonweed, button-weed, button weed, butterweed, butter-weed, butter weed, Chinese-lantern, Chinese lantern, Chinese lanterns, Indian hemp, mountain lily, pie-marker, pie marker, piemarker, sheepweed, sheep-weed, sheep weed, Mormon-weed, Mormon weed, Mormonweed are applied to taxa in multiple families; American hemp is more appropriately applied to Apocynum cannabinum
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended for genus: Indian mallow, Indian-mallow, Indianmallow, Indian mallows
NotesIndia, Indian, Chinese, Manchurian are proper names, so upper case preferable; when China is used as a proper name, upper case preferable; sometimes called American jute, although not native
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcAbutilon abutilon (L.) Rusby
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