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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 (

TaxonAcer negundo
Family common name(s)soapberry; soapberries
Genus common name(s)maple
Species common name(s)box-elder; box elder; boxelder; box-elder maple; box elder maple; boxelder maple; negundo maple; ash-leaved maple; ash-leaved box-elder; ash-leaved box elder; ash-leafed maple; ash-leafed box-elder; ash-leafed box elder; ash-leaf maple; ash leaf maple; ashleaf maple; ash-leaf box-elder; ash-leaf box elder; ash maple; maple-ash; maple ash; stinking maple; Manitoba maple
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsCalifornia box-elder [var. californicum]; California box elder [var. californicum]; California boxelder [var. californicum]; Californian box-elder [var. californicum]; Californian box elder [var. californicum]; Californian boxelder [var. californicum]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxabox maple, river maple, three-leaved maple, three-leafed maple, three-leaf maple, three leaf maple, cut-leaved maple, cut-leafed maple, cut leafed maple, cut-leaf maple, cutleaf maple, American maple are applied to multiple Acer taxa; water ash is applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesCalifornia, Californian are proper names, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcAceraceae; var. arizonicum Sarg.; var. californicum (Torr. & A. Gray) Sarg.; var. interius (Britton) Sarg
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